San Francisco-based FitPay Inc., founded by former CyberSource Corp. and Visa Inc. executives with expertise in payment and authentication technologies, developed a wearable payment enablement platform.
The flexible, scalable solution enables wearable device manufacturers to seamlessly add contactless payment capabilities to their products and supports a wide range of wearable products and devices, FitPay stated.
FitPay's payment platform combines near field communication technology with card network tokenization to securely communicate with POSs at participating retail and hospitality merchant locations. Adoption of contactless-enabled payments has grown to approximately 9 million retail outlets worldwide. The FitPay platform is designed to help manufacturers, merchants and consumers leverage contactless-enabled payments and authentication services.
The company noted that FitPay can help manufacturers minimize time-to-market, costs and complexity associated with incorporating payment and authentication services into wearable devices. Processors can brand the white-label wallet to control payment flow, and manage multiple integrations with payment and authentication service providers using the platform's back-end architecture, application programming interface library and software development toolkit. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard Level 1 compliant infrastructure additionally protects and secures consumer data.
FitPay's platform facilitates a frictionless, secure experience for consumers to make payments with wearable devices, the company said. Consumers can leave their mobile phones at home; once they have registered with the service, they can make payments directly from wearable devices. FitPay validates consumer identity, handles secure authentication and prevents data compromise in the event of a lost or stolen device. The Consumer Device Cardholder Verification Method supports high-value contactless transactions, eliminating the need to sign or enter a PIN at the POS. When connected to the same tokenization schemes used by Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, FitPay enables consumers to digitize multiple credit cards and banking accounts onto their wearable devices, FitPay pointed out.
The company launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in February 2016 for the Pagaré smartstrap, a device designed to pair with Pebble Time Round watches using FitPay's Trusted Payment Manager platform. FitPay expects Pagaré users will be able to make secure contactless payments at millions of participating retailers worldwide.
Pebble has sold more than 1 million of its Pebble Time Round smartwatches since launching the product line on Kickstarter in 2015. Its multiple lines of smartwatches are designed for every type of user, including travelers, fitness enthusiasts, fashionistas or technology buffs. Pebble smartwatches support both Android and Apple smartphones and feature an open platform for developers.
"Pagaré adds a compelling new capability to the Pebble Time lineup," said Michael Orlando, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of FitPay. "Pagaré gives Pebble Time users access to the simplest, fastest and most secure way to pay."
Pagaré wearers will be able to make secure, phone-free transactions with a wave of their wrists, the company noted. The platform's bank-level security is designed to protect their data, even if a Pebble is lost or stolen. Pagaré will replace existing Pebble charging ports with a USB connector at the end of the payment strap. FitPay's funding target for the Kickstarter campaign is $120,000. The company anticipates shipping Pagaré in mid-2016.
FitPay, winner of the Comerica Bank and RocketSpace $50,000 Wearable FinTech Startup Challenge, has further releases planned, including possible transit, secure authentication, secure identification and other payment schemes.
More than 100 million consumers own wearable devices, but approximately one-third stop using them within six months, the company noted. FitPay plans to accelerate wearable adoption, believing that by giving consumers a convenient, highly secure way to pay, they will have a reason to put on their wearables every day.
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