Visa Increases Support for Analog Watches and Other Passive Wearables

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Visa is supporting another provisioning company, Sweden-based Fidesmo, to deliver and manage Visa-generated tokens to passive wearables, such as analog designer watches, keyrings and bracelets. The move, which follows Visa’s support in recent months for at least one other provisioning company serving an analog watchmaker, promises to expand use of payments wearables to more issuers, markets and devices.  

Visa has lagged behind Mastercard in support for tokenized contactless payments from passive wearables, that is, wearable devices with passive chips that are similar or the same as the chips used in contactless bank cards. These chips and the passive wearables they are embedded in don’t have separate batteries to power screens or wireless connections like smartwatches supporting such payments services as Apple Pay and Google Pay do. Both Visa and Mastercard have supported these “active” wearables for years. 

“It opens up a lot of different markets and opens up the market for a whole set of new issuers,” Fidesmo CEO and co-founder Mattias Eld, told NFC Times. I think that if you look at Visa and Mastercard, there are plenty of issuers who are dual issuers. The communication should be easy from an issuer:‘ All my cards can be tokenized onto these wearables.’ ” 

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