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Dutch bank tests wearable technology payments

ABN Amro is testing out wearable payment devices with 500 customers as part of a four-month pilot

Dutch bank ABN Amro is running a pilot with customers to test out the viability of using wearable technologies to make payments.

This follows an internal pilot last year, and will see 500 customers use a variety of wearable payment devices, including watches, rings and bracelets.

The four-month pilot will enable customers to make payments worldwide using wearables linked to their bank accounts. The bank is working with Mastercard and wearable technology company Digiseq on the pilot.

ABN Amro is asking participants for feedback via an app, “so the client experience can be continuously optimised while the pilot is ongoing”.

Yvonne Duits, product owner for payments at ABN Amro, said consumers in the Netherlands have taken to contactless payments in high numbers, which has encouraged the bank to explore “all sorts of inventive payment methods”.

“As much as 50% of all payments in the Netherlands are contactless. But the rise of contactless payments doesn’t stop at bank cards and mobile phones. More and more products allow payments through near-field communication, so naturally we’re eager to test this method with our clients. The current project involves a range of wearables,” she said.

Read more about wearable devices

Contactless payments are also increasing fast in the UK. In fact, consumers used their mobile phones to make £370m worth of contactless payments in the first six months of 2017, according to figures from Worldpay. This represents an increase of 336% for mobile tap and pay payments, compared with the first six months of 2016.

Worldpay found that UK contactless spending, including payments through cards and mobile phones, reached £9bn in the in the first six months of 2017, compared with £10bn in the full year 2016.

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