Mastercard partners with Tappy on wearable payment-enabled accessories

SINGAPORE (Bernama) – Mastercard has partnered with wearable token service provider Tappy Technologies to enable contactless payment on a wide range of accessories, including analogue watches and bracelet.

Tappy Technologies Chief Executive Officer Wayne Leung said this technology would be available by the first half of next year.

“They are different from smart watches as they mostly have a shorter life span compared to analogue watches. With our technology, the chips are embedded on the strap and are waterproof,” he said at a press conference held in conjunction with SFFxSWITCH festival yesterday.

Leung said the Tappy’s patented contactless payment chips could be embedded into virtually any fashion accessory, transforming them into payment-enabled wearables.

Each wearable can register one card at a time.

“By partnering with Mastercard, Tappy can integrate its technology platform with Mastercard Digital Enablement Service to tokenise payment credentials when consumers use their mechanical or digital watch to make a purchase at any merchant that accepts Mastercard contactless payment,” he said.

In terms of regulatory constraints posed as it would be a financial device, Leung said it would be sold like smart watches.

“The wearable does not have its own financial system. It taps on existing cards that have been issued by banks,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mastercard Asia Pacific Digital Payments and Labs senior vice-president Ben Gilbey said the innovation Tappy offers is an example on how fintech landscape evolves.

“These products will have the same security features like cards and if the wearable is missing, customers can call the banks to deactivate it.

“We believe with this technology, payments will be more seamless and consumer adoption will be higher,” he said.

The five-day SFFxSWITCH, which started yesterday, is the biggest global fintech event and gathered nearly 60,000 delegates from around the world.

The logo for Mastercard appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. PHOTO: AP