Wearables aren't just for checking your smartphone notifications or tracking your fitness (or lack of it). They're also for paying for stuff without having to take out your wallet or digging for a cash or card.
We already have Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, and there are NFC wearable payments on the way to Fitbit eventually (maybe in the Fitbit smartwatch), MasterCard is bringing payment tech to trackers and Visa is experimenting with putting payment tech in things like sunglasses.
Read this: Apple Pay v Samsung Pay v Android Pay
Mobile and wearable payments are only going to grow, with Juniper Research estimating that it could hit $100 billion by 2018.
While there are plenty of more devices and types of devices wearable payments could land in, there are also a good deal of devices that use the tech right now. These are our favorites.
Samsung Gear S3
Samsung isn't dumb, it knows that to grow Samsung Pay it needs two things: a popular smartphone and a popular wearable. It's already got the smartphone stuff done, and it's tackling the wearable stuff with the Gear S3. Samsung's latest smartwatch isn't just going big on looks, it's got Samsung Pay. This means that you don't have to use your Galaxy S8 to use Samsung Pay. Oh, and unlike other payment systems Samsung Pay works with magnetic strip readers, which allows it to work at more places than other NFC-based payment systems. That, in our eyes, makes Samsung's offering the best around.
Ah yes, the Apple Watch. Thanks to Apple Pay, it'll let you pay for stuff in the UK and US. Your iPhone handles the brunt of the work, including verifying your identity, making paying with your wrist as simple and easy as possible. In the future, when watchOS 4 goes live, you'll also be able to send friends and family the money you owe them via the service.
LG Watch Sport
If you're not an Apple or Samsung person, but are really interested in using contactless payments with your wearable, then take a look at the LG Watch Sport. The poster child of Android Wear 2.0, the Watch Sport fully supports Android Pay, allowing you to tap your wrist to a whole host of payment terminals until your virtual wallet runs dry.
Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45
If you'd like a fancy smartwatch that can also deliver a wearable payment option, there's no better option for you than the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45. You get all the luxury smartwatch you could want, including a matte black ceramic watch face. You can also swap out the digital screen for an analog one if you really want. And, of course, you can use Android Pay to pay for things.
TapuTapu / Disney Magic Band
If you're headed on vacation to either a Disney or Universal theme park resort, you'll have a wearable payment option that'll allow you to sit back and spend money more easily than ever. If you're headed to Universal's Volcano Bay water park, you can use its TapuTapu wearable to pay for your food and merch. If you're headed to Disney World, then you can use your Magic Band to do the same in Disney's theme parks. You'll get your TapuTapu when you make your way to Volcano Bay for free, and if you stay at a Disney resort you'll get your Magic Band.
If you don't want to spend all that cash on a more robust wearable device, but you still want to jump into the wearable payment revolution, then bPay has a solution for you. It's the £20 bPay wristband, which you can link up to your account to pay wherever you see the contactless symbol. Despite being from Barclay, you don't even have to be a Barclay or Barclaycard customer. How's that for convenience?
Topshop x bPay band
If you want a wearable payment band that's a little more fashionable, you can turn toward Topshop's collaboration with Barclays. It also uses bPay technology, which is compatible with cards from any banks. It's simple, it looks unique and it'll let you pay for things with a tap of your wrist. Also only available in the UK, mind.
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