Altair unveils pre-paid contactless PayPass wrist watch

Altair unveils pre-paid contactless PayPass wrist watch

UK pre-paid card outfit Altair Financial Services has unveiled a wrist watch featuring MasterCard's PayPass contactless payments technology.

The vendor has teamed with RFID specialist CardPOS Europe, smart card outfit ID Data and watch maker Laks on the watch, which is capable of supporting offline transaction authorisations.

The custom branded watches - which enable users to make low value payments by tapping them against specially-equipped PayPass readers - include a feature for easy to use customer SIM card insertion and withdrawal.

Lee Britton, CEO, Altair, says: "The MasterCard PayPass Watch gives customers a new and exciting way to pay, and offers merchants a new revenue opportunity, increased throughput and improved customer loyalty."

However this is not the first time that wrist watches have been used for contactless payments. Last year Turkey's Garanti Bank partnered MasterCard to issue limited edition PayPass watches to holders of its contactless credit cards, while in 2006 Taiwan's Chinatrust Commercial Bank launched a football-themed wrist watch featuring PayPass technology ahead of the Fifa World Cup in Germany.

In 2004 Japanese credit card issuer JCB teamed with Casio to develop a wrist watch that features combined contactless payment functionality as well as an office access system. The Offica Watch contained employee ID information for access control and network authentication as well as cashless payment functions.

Meanwhile back in December 2002, US mobile payments outfit Speedpass partnered Timex to offer consumers a wristwatch which transmitted payment instructions to specially fitted terminals at ExxonMobil petrol stations and McDonalds restaurants.

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