We've been paying for lunch and travel and snacks and treats with Apple Pay on the Apple Watch and Topshop x bPay wearables here in London and over in the US, you can use everything from Jawbone to the Microsoft Band as a wearable payment device.
But it's still not something you see everyday, compared to contactless cards which are - quite simply - everywhere. Fitbit, Pebble, Ringly, Moov and more are set to add payments to their wearables in the next year and Barclaycard has just put out its new bPay Loop which attaches to a whole host of existing smartwatches.
Here's what goes through the minds of wearable tech paying pioneers. If you've already started, you'll know exactly what we're talking about:
1. Am I topped up?
2. Can I bothered to get my phone out to check the app to see if the wallet is topped up?
3. If I get my phone out I might as well get my card out and pay with that.
4. I'll go for broke but also definitely sort out auto top up as soon as I'm next sat down.
5. FFS, the terminal is on my right hand side and my wearable is on my left wrist like an idiot. Tesco is right hand side. The bus is left hand side. The tube: right hand side, coffee shop: left hand side. Is no-one having top-level meetings about this shit?
6. Should have rolled my sleeve up before I got to the till. This check-out lady instinctively looks up to see what the hell I'm doing. Thanks Apple brand power, she seems to clock what is about to go down.
7. "Can I pay by contactless?" Quick add a winning/sheepish smile and raise your eyebrows innocently as if to say, "Sorry but I'm from the future."
8. Snack time. Ahh, self-service tills. Now I'm at least 30% less anxious. Who needs social interaction when I've been working from home all day? Not me. These podcast people are my friends.
9. Raise my hand twice, shame on me for doing it before hitting "contactless card" the first time. Every time a wearable payment doesn't work, a fairy dies.
10. About one in every ten times I get my debit card out of my bag, either the card or some banknotes end up on the floor. This is literally shackled to my wrist - my clumsiness can't touch it.
11. I can't look the bus driver in the eye as I boop the Oyster reader with my wrist so I stare at the yellow circle as I hold position instead.
12. My contactless card (like my Oyster card before it) is a repeat offender for falling out of my bags and pockets so the short bus journey is another opportunity to feel smug.
13. Was the person behind me getting huffy?
14. Probably just my imagination.
15. Has Apple made a Watch strap with the chip in there instead of the watch yet? Nope. Ugh, come onnn.
16. This bookseller man looks unimpressed with life. But I swear to god his eyes actually light up when I press and hold my wrist to the machine on his counter.
17. Resist the urge to do a comedy wink.
18. I bet he has a Kindle at home.
Adventures in paying
- Topshop's second bPay collectionChoose from metal and snakeskin effect bracelets, cases and keychains
- The (near) future of paymentsMWC 2016: Visa and MasterCard show us what's next in connected self payments
- A story of wearable awkwardnessWe took the bPay band out for a spin and this is what we learned
- ‚ÄčThe best wearable payment devicesPut the bank card down and pay with your body
19. I am saving so much time and mental energy.
20. And I'm really nailing my job as a connected self dandy right now. People will write songs about me.
21. I should have set this up aaagggess ago.
22. When are payments coming to Fitbit/Ringly/Pebble again? Damn, that's long.
23. I wish we could just skip to the part where this is totally normal and everyone's waving their tech tattoo'd arms to pay for stuff.
24. A guy just used his Apple Watch on the gate for the tube! I'm going to follow him through! This can be the wearable payment douchebag gate! I'm not alone!
25. I'll probably stop thinking about this so much now and just get on with it.
Do you use wearable payments? Let us know what you love and what you hate about it in the comments.
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