Mobile, Technology

Future of PoS Transactions with the Introduction of Wearable Devices

This guest column is by Mudra Rao, a professional consultant at Ohoshop

Since the last few years, wearable devices that mainly include smart glasses and smart watches have become an essential part of consumers’ lifestyle. In order to provide a seamless shopping experience to customers, even the brick-and-mortar retail chains are adopting wearable devices. Wearable devices are now commonly being used for payments in digital format in retail stores. Payments via digital wallets and wearable devices are became an area of emphasis for number of companies in the technology industry.

What has helped the progress of this way of payment is the growing recognition by consumers who are ready to opt for such services. Acceptance by consumers in the initial stages and deployments has also encouraged some big names in the banking and technology sector have shown interest in this emerging market. According to a new report from Tractica, wearable payment transaction volume will grow from $3.1 billion in 2015 to $501.1 billion worldwide by 2020.

Apple has already started Apple Pay for Apple Watch which is one of the noteworthy steps taken to enable payments with the wrist.

Many retail stores have begun implementing wearable technology to enhance productivity across different business processes. For example, the increasing superiority of wearable has given consumers the option of syncing their wearable devices with their smartphones to allow mobile payments at Point-of-Sale terminals. The banking and financial sector is also going through a phase of rapid modernization. As part of these measures, the financial sector is able to provide customers with improved customer experience, enhanced security, access and speed.

Wearable Devices and Point-Of-Sale 


A customer making a payment using Apple watch at a PoS terminal, Image Credit: Vistasupport

Wearable devices are a relatively new concept in the field of smart electronic devices. These are available as wrist band, eye-wear and even clothing which are integrated into T-shirts or caps. Wearable perform all the basic tasks of computing same as mobile devices, and provide features like tracking user biological functions like heart-rate, calories burned and more.

So, they are commonly used as fitness devices to show the major signs once a person wears it on his wrist.

Point-of-Sale are systems designed to take payment at the point of purchase. POS systems have been around for a long time. Many experts believe that in the coming few years, mobile or wearable wallets will replace traditional forms of payment options. Retail store owners benefit the most from wearable, as this technology present new prospect of engaging customers.

Wearable devices are now being used as payment gateways in certain retail stores because; it’s a cheaper and delivers quantifiable benefits.

Shown above: Atlas wristband

Shown above: Atlas wristband

Wearable technologies and point-of-sale technologies are rapidly converging. For example, MasterCard
is currently partnering with Coin
to bring payments through MasterCard in a wide range of smart watches,
fitness bands and other wearable. Similarly, many other wearable device manufacturing companies such as Omate and Atlas Wearable are working with MasterCard to provide customers with payment options through their products.

Smart Bracelets as a Payment Access Solution in Hotels

Onity has come up with a wearable device called Qing Solutions that allow visitors to make all payments and enter their rooms and other restricted areas with the help of a smart bracelet.

The device has been designed specifically to improve visitor experience and give the hospitality industry an effective and cutting-edge means to enhance satisfaction for customers. Onity’s Qing Solutions are the pioneer of RFID and NFC based access management system through wearable devices for the hospitality industry across Europe, Africa and Middle-East.

With the help of this single device, visitors don’t need to carry cash, keys and cards. Moreover, guests can get access to restricted areas and make payments for all services, and enter to special events. Qing Solutions allow guests to make cash-free and safe payments through transmitting non-financial information through a secure and encoded connection.

Potential Benefits of the Convergence of Wearable and Retail POS

Sending Alert Messages

With wearable’s sensor-driven ability and the potential to collect vast data about customer behavior, retailers and brands will be able to send alerts to customers at regular intervals and get an understanding about their lifestyle by tracking of what they browsed during their stay at the store. This enhances customer experience a lot and makes them revisit the store frequently.

Prevention of Fraudulent Activities

For any payment provider, authenticating the identity of the payer at a point of sale terminal is paramount. With location tracking via GPS, payment providers can verify the identity of the payer through a matching GPS location on a bracelet, wristband or any other wearable. This helps in preventing all fraudulent activities and ensures foolproof security. Multiple device verification provides an additional layer of identity security before a signal is submitted through NFC technology.

Raising the Customer Service to the Next Level

Large retail chains can provide store personnel and assistants with wearable who can enrich customer experience by answering to all their queries in store thereby improving the responsiveness. While making payments, customers authorize the process with bio-metrics and digital signage.

Fingerprint scanning is already prevalent in numerous devices. In the future, home buttons and touch screens are only going to improve and this technology will become omnipresent. Soon, cameras and phone sensors will be performing retinal scans. These identification technologies act as a reliable virtual signature. Apart from retinal scans and thumb prints, sensors are likely to be placed on a person’s shirt to monitor their physiology.

Interactive and seamless in-store experience

With different wearable devices, retail store owners provide customers with multiple screens to interact and get involved with the entire shopping experience. For example, through gestures, store personnel provide an omni channel experience to customers.

There are companies that manufacture smart jewellery who allow wearers to connect with merchant payment solution, pay bills and more, all by tracking custom gestures. Wearable projection glasses, virtual reality glasses, microchip infused contact lenses, and microchip infused nail polish could enable a keyboard function for virtual screens, give anyone the ability to draw virtually in three dimensions, or provide real-time feedback for holographic or real-life interactions.

Drastic change in usage of smart devices, various wearable accessories, integrated payment applications and communications technologies shows that the next generation of workforce and consumers will be increasingly tech-savvy and more keen to use wearable devices for payment than previous generations.

Disclaimer: This is a guest column. The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of iamwire and the editor(s).


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