MasterCard, Visa Debut IoT, Wearables Moves at MWC
Wearable payments technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to gain steam, with MasterCard and Visa announcing separate initiatives involving the technologies. Today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, MasterCard announced a plan to bring contactless payments to a range of luxury brand watches. MasterCard is partnering with WISeKey, a Geneva-based information security and ID management company that provides security for smartwatches from brands including Hublot and Bulgari. Under the partnership, MasterCard will integrate its payments technology with WISeKey’s Cryptographic Root of Trust for IoT and NFCTrusted solutions, enabling WISeKey’s watch client brands to integrate MasterCard’s contactless payments services. The deal “will open the door to additional e-commerce and marketing opportunities for luxury wearable device and watch manufacturers,” said Carlos Moreira, CEO, WISeKey.
Meanwhile, Visa unveiled a new initiative of its own at Mobile World Congress, expanding its Visa Ready integrated secure payments program to include IoT companies, including those that provide wearables, cars, appliances, public transportation services and clothing. Among the first IoT providers to join Visa Ready are Coin, FitPay and Samsung, which are working with device manufacturers, including smartwatch makers Chronos and Pebble, to embed payments into their devices. Under the Visa Ready program, Visa will provide tokenization services for payment information used by those devices.
Cisco projects that the number of Internet-connected devices worldwide will reach 50 billion by 2020, compared with 15 billion today, providing a major source of potential demand for payments services linked to those devices, such as watches, cars and appliances.
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