RINGS & THINGS: Payment Devices

Payment DevicesIf you think paying for purchases at check-out at the local Starbucks or Walmart is confusing now, wait until rings and other “wearable” payment devices are added to the mix.

I’ve frequently waited in line at a local Starbucks’ drive-through while the clerk clicks and re-clicks on the smartphone app of the person in line ahead of me, trying to extract payment.  Just wait – it’s going to get even more convoluted!  I’m told by those who live in Australia, the U.K., Eastern Europe and others places where things like rings, bracelets and key rings are utilized as coded devices capable of logging payment to a debit or credit card, that such devices confuse the heck out of cashiers.  For one thing, when one walks up to check-out and makes a fist (if paying by ring, that’s the recommended method), the cashier doesn’t really know whether to duck or continue with check-out.  One such device is made by K Wearables and the maker has recommended that their customers not claim that the device is “magic,” but, rather, just state that it’s a Mastercard approved product.  People who are becoming accustomed to flinging their payment rings around, are learning however that there is a time and a place to do so – a Sydney software engineer purchased a payment ring in August but says that he tends to use a credit card on taxi rides, particularly if it’s late at night – his thinking is that “the last thing the cabbie needs is to be looking funny at what I’m trying to do.”  Well, yes – a wave of the future, so to speak.

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