​The best wearable payment devices

Put the bank card down and pay with your body
​The best wearable payment devices

Wearables aren't just for showing smartphone notifications and tracking your fitness (or lack of it): a growing number of them are adding contactless payments to the mix.

The news that NFC wearable payments are coming to Fitbit, Android Pay will come to Android Wear watches and that Mastercard is bringing the same tech to trackers like Moov suggests it's going to be the next big feature to really take off on wearable tech. According to Juniper Research, mobile and wearable payments will hit $100 billion by 2018.

Read this: The (near) future of payments including selfie pay

Enabling you to save time and stop fumbling in your wallet for the right bank card, contactless payments are quickly gaining pace. The technology is tested and easy to implement, and that means we're seeing it appear in all sorts of places.

The likes of Ringly, Mondaine and Bulgari have plans to add mobile payment support to their wearables in the future, but for the time being, here's the ones that pay for themselves right now.

Jawbone UP4

If you're in the US, then you can pick up the UP4 and the fitness tracker will let you pick up some groceries as well as record your activity 24/7. You get everything that the UP3 has including the heart rate monitor, but with the addition of American Express payments at participating retailers. Your Amex card is authenticated through the Jawbone app, and you can then swipe your wrist to pay — with or without your phone.

$149.99, jawbone.com | Amazon

Apple Watch

Yes, the Apple Watch will let you pay for stuff. Thanks to Apple Pay, which is now live in the UK and the US, it's a portable payment device as well as a smart timepiece. Your iPhone handles the job of adding debit and credit cards, as well as verifying your identity, and you can then pay using the Apple Watch with a flick of your wrist.

$349 and above, apple.com

Samsung Gear S2

Samsung knows that to get its Samsung Pay service off the ground it needs a wearable to go with it: and so we have the Gear S2. Perhaps the best smartwatch yet from Samsung (it's certainly had enough goes to get it right), it has a clever rotating bezel and an integrated NFC chip enabling you to make payments on the go. You can use the Gear S2 (and Samsung Pay) with most newer Android phones and apparently iOS support is on the way.

$299.99, samsung.com

Microsoft Band 2

Like the UP4, the second generation offers mobile payments, but you'll need to be in the US and you can only buy something in Starbucks. To get it set up on the feature packed fitness tracker/smartwatch hybrid, you'll need to add the Starbucks tile to your Microsoft Band 2 via the Microsoft Health app.

When you're ready to pay, turn the screen on, select the Starbucks tile and a barcode will pop up. Hold it in front of the cashier's scanner and you've paid for your coffee.

$249.99, microsoft.com | Amazon

Lyle & Scott bPay jacket

Wearing something around your wrist not really your style? Thanks to Lyle & Scott and Barclays you can have some NFC payment goodness built right into your jacket. The payment bit is hidden in the cuff of your sleeve, and with bPay inside it means you can use your credit or debit card (from Barclays or any other bank) to complete transactions in hundreds of thousands of places in the UK. You'll just have to hope it's not a sunny day.

£150, lyleandscott.com

Topshop x bPay band

Don't worry, you don't have to fork out for a Lyle & Scott jacket if you want to be able to take advantage of Barclays bPay technology (remember you can register a card from any bank, even though Barclays develops the app). There's also a band that you can pick up very cheaply to use at some 300,000 retailers in the UK that now has an increased £30 limit, although it doesn't do anything else except handle mobile payments: you might have to wear a smartwatch alongside it.

£19, bpay.co.uk | Amazon

1 Comment

  • Boblish says:

    Wrong. S2 does not support any mobile payment as of current. 

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