Wearables remain one of those trends few people can make sense of. Smart devices on our wrist are convenient to count steps or tracking our routes. When it comes to payments, however, the jury is still out. Riyad Bank thinks this is a market worth exploring. As such, the institution will issue contactless bracelets.

It is always interesting to see banks approach contactless payments. Right now, most institutions embed this technology in their payment cards. Most credit or debit cards already have NFC functionality as we speak. Even so, it seems there is room for more competing solutions in this regard. Wearables, for example, seemingly present an interesting case in this regard. Saudi Arabia’s Riyad Bank is more than willing to experiment with these bracelets.

An Interesting Decision by Riyad Bank

It seems the Riyad Bank contactless bracelets will use Gemalto‘s MiniTag solution. This allows users to link existing credit or debit cards. Additionally, prepaid accounts for swift shopping on the high street are also supported. It is an interesting gamble by the Saudi Arabian bank, for obvious reasons. As of right now, contactless bracelets have not made a meaningful impact just yet.

Additionally, the bank also issues Gemalto’s contactless stickers. This will allow users to add this functionality to any cell phone. In fact, these cell phones can be turned into secure contactless payment devices accordingly. Having multiple contactless solutions can only be considered to be a good thing in this day and age. It seems these bracelets will continue to gain popularity in the next few years.

Riyad Bank is not the only financial institution to make an impact in this regard. They join ABN Amro, Barclaycard, Westpac, Bank West, and National bank of Greece. It is interesting to see such a global effort materialize in quick succession. Whether or not consumers will effectively embrace contactless bracelets for payments, is a different matter altogether.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock


About Author

JP Buntinx is a 30-year old FinTech and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium. His passion for finance and technology made him one of the world's leading freelance Bitcoin writers, and he is working to achieve the same level of respect in the FinTech sector.

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