Ever dream of paying for a burger and fries using a fashionable glove instead of your wallet? Companies, including those without reputations as technology firms, are creating integrated payment devices that change the way we think of the Internet of Things. From purses to rings to refrigerators, customers are now presented with multiple creative products with payment capabilities. By dreaming up creative concepts and partnering with payment providers, companies are pushing the envelope of what you can use as an IoT payment device.
Here are 5 companies making innovative IoT devices with payment capabilities.
The NYC based startup specializes in smart jewelry, combining fashion with IoT technology. While wearing Ringly products, customers enjoy features like smartphone app alerts, calendar notifications, and step tracking for fitness monitoring. Users receive alerts via discrete lights and vibrations on their rings or bracelets. In 2015, Ringly inked a deal with MasterCard, bringing mobile payment capabilities to owners of their fashionable products.
“We created Ringly to keep women connected to the people, messages and notifications that are important to them,” said Christina Mercando d’Avignon, founder and CEO of Ringly. “Through our partnership with MasterCard, Ringly will not only be able to keep people connected, but will provide another layer to how our customers can use their jewelry while on the go. Our mission is to make women’s lives more manageable through beautiful jewelry and discreet technology.”
Ringly is still testing the mobile payment integration, and plans to release the new capability in the near future.
The iconic fashion shop has shown it’s moved into the 21st century with a variety of IoT fashionable payment devices. Currently featuring 11 unique IoT products, customers can choose from various types of smart accessories with payment capabilities, including keychains, bracelets, and iPhone cases. The range of products, known as TOPSHOP x BPay, is powered by Barclay’s BPay, creating a new type of product for both the bank and fashion retailer.
“This is a really exciting partnership with TOPSHOP and marks the first time that our bPay chip is being incorporated into a product range from a major fashion retailer.” said Tami Hargreaves, Commercial Director, Digital Consumer Payments at Barclaycard. “The collaboration shows how the worlds of fashion and technology can combine to create a stylish and easy new way for people to pay using contactless, for everyday things – be it a morning coffee, a new lipstick or a bus trip across town.”
TOPSHOP x BPay products are available online and in stores, and TOPSHOP has announced a soon-to-be released IoT integrated jacket.
Pop star Rihanna’s go-to clothing designer is getting into IoT mobile payments, too. Designer Adam Selman recently agreed to a deal with MasterCard, integrating payment chips into a upcoming fashion line. Although Selman isn’t a tech expert, he’s known in the fashion industry as an innovator and risk taker, required traits to challenge integrating payment chips into high fashion clothing.
“Usually technology’s role in fashion is behind the scenes. What sets the MasterCard program apart is that it features the technology, while still remaining invisible, yet interactive and totally functional with the wearer.” said Selman. “It’s exciting to be part of a project that is creating something new and fresh. At the end of the day, that’s what fashion is all about.”
Customers will be able to purchase from multiple products designed by Selman featuring mobile payment capabilities, including a dress, sunglasses, gloves, and a clutch purse.
Moving away from wearable IoT payment devices, Samsung has created the most technologically advanced fridge available for retail purchase. Already established in IoT products, Samsung has released a smart fridge, known as the Family Hub. Users access the Family Hub smart features through a 21″ touchscreen that accompanies the fridge, and includes app integrations like music streaming through Pandora, recipe books through Allrecipies, and the ability to look into your fridge via cameras through Samsung’s View Inside. Notably for payments is the integration of MasterCard Groceries, allowing users to purchase groceries for delivery while standing in front of a smart fridge.
Samsung is no stranger to the mobile payments world. The company recently rolled out its Samsung Pay feature for smartphones. The integration of payments into a fridge is just one of the ways Samsung is gaining market share of mobile payments. The Family Hub is available now and costs around $6,000.
How can we not talk about the white whale of IoT mobile payments: the car? After detailing mobile payments in cars a little while back, the first internet car is about to debut. The China based SAIC Motor is releasing the Rowe RX5, with multiple online features including online navigation, communication, and music capabilities. SAIC also features YunOS, Alibaba’s 3rd party online payment solution.
The partnership with SAIC is another play by Alibaba to expand its financial services offering, ANT Financial, Alibaba’s affiliate that runs Alipay. Combined with the new AXA partnership, which will focus on distributing insurance policies through Alibaba’s online platforms, Alibaba’s showing its seriousness to expand its financial services capabilities. The RX5 is currently available for pre-order, with an intended release date of August 2016.
Photo credit: ETC-USC via Visual Hunt / CC BY