Fintech fun with wearables

Let’s say from the start, this is just a little fintech marketing fun with wearables.

We’ve been blogging about how contactless payments continue to gather pace. Those of us in the industry know of its migration into wearable form factors and things have already moved on from there. The term ‘wearables’ is already inadequate to categorise some of the new contactless payment devices which are everyday ‘things’.

There is much research on the trend towards contactless adoption but there is little data to indicate how much merchants know about new wearable payment form factors. If they don’t know about them, are they going to be comfortable in accepting them? Could they hold back the advancement of new payment types?

In the absence of actual research, we conducted some casual and entirely unscientific tests of our own. We turned up at a random sample of retailers and other types of merchant and asked to pay with a contactless ring. We filmed the reactions at locations from an Essex pub to a boutique tea shop in Brighton. Initially, this was purely for our own interest but it became clear that we’d stumbled upon some great characters and possibly even some useful insights.  We decided to compile a short, lo-fi video below of our most interesting encounters, just for you.

I don’t care how you pay

The answer to the question is no, the merchants we encountered were definitely not familiar with wearable payment technology. What is not captured on the video was the conversations about how they felt about what they saw. One remark summed up the general feeling: ‘I don’t care how you pay, as long as I don’t get a call from my boss tomorrow saying you’ve scammed me.’

Viral marketing effect

The reaction of consumers to our use of wearable payment technology was remarkable. The word of mouth marketing was rapid and viral. Moments after using the ring, a series of strangers assembled to ask more about the payment sorcery they had just witnessed. Consumers seemed genuinely excited by this alternative way to make payments. They understood how it could increase convenience or add a little fun to an otherwise tedious task.

Our thanks to the Orange Tree, Be At One and the Blue Bird Tea Co for being part of our experiment.

Take a look…

Merchants react to contactless payment ring technology from Blue Train Marketing on Vimeo.