Lebanon Businessnews News

Bank Audi launches wearable payment
Contactless payment device market is growing
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Bank Audi launched the ‘Tap2Pay-NFC Wearables’, today, a payment method through which the user may pay with an NFC watch or bracelet instead of cash.

Bank Audi is collaborating with MasterCard to provide this service. The ‘Tap2Pay NFC Watch’ and ‘Tap2Pay NFC Bracelet’ allow the client to make contactless payments just by tapping the watch or bracelet on any available contactless terminal around the world. Both accessories may be linked to an existing credit card or may be issued as a prepaid card that is loaded online or through a Bank Audi ATM, or monthly transfers.

NFC, which stands for Near Field Communication is a technology that allows the bank to identify the account holder and charge them for their tap-to-pay purchases.

“These payment devices complete the NFC contactless family, which consists of contactless cards, NFC mobile payment, and stickers for non NFC-enabled mobiles,” said Randa Bdeir, Group Head of e-Payment Solutions and Card Services at Bank Audi. “Wearables target sport lovers, university students, and trendy clients,” she said.

The watch and bracelet allow the holder to make up to ten transactions a day for a total amount of $1,000 per day, through each accessory. Clients will be able to make transactions at more than 3,000 merchants in Lebanon, as well as at any PayPass merchant abroad. This includes supermarkets, retail shops, restaurants, cinemas, and parking lots, among others.

“For additional security, the watch or bracelet holder may activate or deactivate the payment function by using the SMS service,” said Bdeir. “For each transaction exceeding $50, the user is required to enter a PIN code,” she said.

The watch is available in seven colors, the bracelet in eight. The watch is provided by Bank Audi as a gift, with the purchase of a credit card or prepaid card, which costs $90. The bracelet is also a gift, with the purchase of a credit card, which costs $40.

The global wearables industry is estimated at $4 billion, according to Michael Miebach, President Middle East and Africa at MasterCard, who said that this figure is expected to jump to $11 billion in the next five years. “We have noticed a fast growth of credit cards in Lebanon, along with an increase in the penetration of prepaid cards and debit cards, which will drive further the adoption of wearables in the upcoming years,” he said.
Reported by Leila Rahbani
Date Posted: Mar 31, 2015
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