Customers of Australia’s Bankwest can now make payments with of flick of their ring finger. As the following article describes, the bank has launched Halo, a wearable ring for contactless payments, in partnership with Mastercard.
Bankwest on Thursday launched ‘Halo’, a ring that enables users to make ‘tap and go’ payments as an alternative to cash or a contactless card. The $39 wearable device – secured by Mastercard TM – is waterproof up to 50 metres and does not require charging or an associated mobile phone app, the bank said.
The ring links to a customer’s transaction account and works like a contactless payment card. It is the result of a trial completed last year. Bankwest said the device has been made possible through the organisation’s agile approach to working. Staff with skills in design thinking, software engineering, product development and marketing have worked with a multi-disciplinary team to bring the product to market.
Team practices included daily stand-up meetings which involved representatives from key areas such as legal, compliance and architecture providing feedback to ensure Bankwest maintained a robust approach to risk management during the initiative, the bank said. Bankwest executive general manager, technology and transformation, Andy Weir, said in a statement that the bank’s new ways of working were crucial in bringing the ring to market much faster than traditional ‘waterfall’ delivery models.
“Bankwest is leveraging both new technologies and new ways of working, to meet rapidly changing customer needs and we’re transforming into an environment with the very best technology, design and creative professionals, who think and act differently,” he said.
“The team used a mixture of lean, agile and design-thinking, within an iterative test and learn approach. It’s been hugely energising and satisfying to see the new ways of working in action, which provide a great test case for our customer-obsessed approach,” he said.
Visa unveiled a ring payment device for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, to promote contactless payments. For the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics they have introduced 3 wearable items: gloves, stickers, and coat pins. There seems to be more of a novelty effect surrounding these wearables. In contrast, watches have greater potential for consumer adoption as they can provide other functions and integrated features. Time will tell.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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