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A Watch That Helps You Make Mobile Payments

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While many consumers and companies alike have been focused on the ways in which mobile payments could be made possible using smartphones equipped with near-field communications technology, one bank in Turkey chose to take its option another direction.

Garanti Bank, the second-largest privately-owned bank in Turkey, recently came together with MasterCard to create a new kind of mobile payments platform many in the U.S. may not have envisioned: a wristwatch, according to a report from CreditUnions.com. The Bonus Trink Watch uses the mobile purchasing technology known as PayPass to complete transactions in much the same way as a normal credit card.

The PayPass technology is already in use in the U.S., as Starbucks uses it to link consumers’ smartphones with their prepaid loyalty cards for the coffee chain, the report said. However, while neither the smartphone- nor watch-related technologies are available for use in most stores across the U.S., that doesn’t mean developers aren’t making headway in pushing out such platforms.

It’s believed that many companies in several industries are now either working on or have already released mobile wallet payment systems, the report said. However, it seems unlikely that consumers in the U.S. would be willing to take on an additional accessory, even if it is functional like a watch, when loading the necessary technology into smartphones seems like an easier and more efficient way of boosting adoption. Many people buy a new phone every year or two, and for this reason, it seems likely that a rollout through these devices would be more beneficial than offering new products such aswatches that consumers could use to complete a mobile transaction.

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While many suspect that mobile payments will gain widespread use by 2016, it’s simply not clear when a winning technology or company will come to the fore. Many experts have already noted that there may be too many participants in the mobile wallet development marketplace for anyone to be exactly sure which type of technology could catch on. Most believe that mobile wallets will emerge as the dominant kind of purchasing in the next few years, but there are challengers. And even still, there are many companies developing their own mobile wallet systems, each with its own unique perks and requirements.

Image: nicolasnova, via Flickr

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