Most contactless payment options nowadays are tied to other accounts. You have to attach your debit card, or credit card, to your Apple or Android device, but Samsung wants to change that with its new Contactless Companion Platform (CCP).
CCP is meant to be "digital cash for everyone," allowing anyone to pay for anything with any wearable device they want. So yes, you'd be able to pay with your phone and watch, but the system would also work with smart cards, rings, wrist bands, key fobs, jewelry and perhaps even clothing.
The system wouldn't exclusively work with cash either, as users would be able to combine their money with vouchers, coupons, travel cards, loyalty programs and more. You'd manage your wearable payment devices via an app, and you'd be able to top up via linked bank and credit accounts or at terminals where you can transfer actual cash into digital cash.
Samsung is working with financial tech company Smartlink and payment tech provider Ingenico on the system, and has roped in watchmakers Winwatch and Montfort to create watches embedded with CCP for testing.
The big goal is to move us toward being a cashless society, where cash fraud isn't a thing and the world doesn't have to spend resources printing and shipping cash money everywhere.
So what about security? Well, the platform includes the ability to deactivate payment chips in wearables within the companion app. You'll also be able to set timers for when you can pay for something. For example, you can put some money into a ring and set a timer so that you can only pay for something in the next two hours. After the two hours the money returns to your CCP account.
CCP is going to start rolling out to customers in Eastern Europe next month, and Samsung said it's working with "other wearable and accessory manufacturers" on new products embedded with CCP.
Replacing cash is certainly an ambitious agenda, and Samsung and its partners seem to have thought out security and convenience, but this entire endeavor rests on their ability to quickly and efficiently widen actual availability. A good way to do that would be integration with Samsung's many devices (Gear S4, maybe?). Samsung has its Unpacked event next week, so there's a slight chance this could turn up there too.
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