Pay with your watch: Westpac pioneer PayWear

Forgot your wallet? And your phone? Nevermind, Westpac customers can now make contactless payments via their watch, wristband or fitness tracker thanks to some nifty new tech.

The wearable technology, known as ‘PayWear’, uses a silicone wristband and microchip that can also easily be fixed to your existing watch or fitness tracker.

“We’re always looking for new ways to help make our customers’ lives easier, and with our new PayWear products, customers will be able to pay on-the-go, in one hands-free step,” said Westpac Group Chief Executive of Consumer Banking, George Frazis.

Westpac customers will be able to use the wristband or their own watch in the same way that they would the tap and pay feature of their debit cards, with the microchip linked to their transactional bank accounts.

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According to Westpac’s 2017 Hands-free Payments Survey, while Aussies are embracing contactless payment alternatives, we want our wearables to do our fashion sense justice.

“Australia has the highest contactless penetration in the world, and cards continue to replace cash as consumers demand convenience,” said Frazis.

“When speaking with customers, personal style and choice were important. In fact, 70% agreed that they would only wear a wearable device if it suited their own personal style and lifestyle,” he added.

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The tech is hands-free, battery-free and waterproof and will be available in early December, just in time for the Aussie summer beach season.

Westpac will also launch a PayWear Designer range early next year, collaborating with a number of Australia’s best designers, including award-winning surfboard shaper and entrepreneur, Hayden Cox.

“While some customers may opt for the simpler Essentials range, there is also a part of the market that will want something with a little more flavour. This is where the products I’m designing will sit,” said Cox.

Contactless payments are all the rage in Australia right now but to compare a range of everyday banking features and products, check out Mozo’s bank account tables.