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Westpac has upped its wearable payment tech game with a new range of PayWear

Tom Watson

Tuesday 23 October 2018

<p>Westpac has upped its wearable payment tech game with a new range of PayWear</p>

It wasn’t so long ago that Westpac became one of the first Australian banks to start offering wearable payment technology to Aussies by launching its PayWear range of watches, wristbands and fitness trackers in October 2017.

Since then, Aussies have been increasingly tempted into leaving their wallets at home with an inundation of wearable payment options over the past year from a host of banks, including a variety of fashionable and fitness wristbands and even a Mozo Experts Choice Award-winning payment ring.       

But if there’s only one ring you’ll put on your finger, or a wristband really isn’t your cup of tea, Westpac may have a few other solutions for you.

Launched on October 10, Westpac’s second wave of PayWear not only aims to give its customers more options when it comes time to tap at the checkout, but also lets them do so in style.

The bank’s ‘Centsitive Objects’ range includes a keychain, sew on patch, pins and a silicon tag which can be attached to watches or fitness bands - all priced between $20 and $30.

                                Image: The Westpac range of Centsitive Objects

“Our customers are increasingly on-the-go with more than 56,000 now using PayWear to support their everyday transactions. So we’ve evolved our existing range of accessories to create something special that offers a sleek, subtle and convenient way to tap-and-pay,” said Head of Group Brand, Advertising & Media at Westpac, Jenny Melhuish.

“We know personal style and choice matters to our customers; in fact we’ve found 38% of Australians find style important when it comes to wearable devices, and 71% would use a wearable if it fits their personal style and lifestyle.”

How does wearable tech actually work?

According to Roy Morgan’s recent Digital Payment Solutions Currency Report, a large number of Australians are adopting digital payment solutions like online payment platforms (PayPal), digital wallets (Apple, Google and Samsung Pay) and buy-now-pay-later services (Afterpay) as part of their everyday payment mix.

In fact, according to Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine, it’s already possible for many Aussies to  go about their daily activities without needing to rely on their physical wallet or a debit or credit card.

“This is being aided by the growing proliferation of smartphones and wearables with integrated payment technology such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, and an increasing number of financial institutions enabling their customers to make payments with these devices,” she said.  

RELATED: Apple, Google and Samsung Pay edge out Australian banks as preferred mobile wallets

But while tapping your smartphone - loaded with a digital wallet like Apple Pay - at a payment terminal may seem straightforward, how does wearable payment technology like Westpac’s PayWear actually work?

In the case of Westpac, each wearable is fitted with a small ‘PayWear Card’ (essentially a chip) which uses the same contactless technology as a regular debit card.

Once you’ve activated the PayWear and linked it to your bank account you’ll be able to use it just like you would a debit card for tap and go purchases under $100, as well as for larger purchases (although these will require you to enter a pin).

The launch of the ‘Centsitive Objects’ PayWear range is just the latest fintech release from the bank, with Westpac announcing an integration between it’s banking app and Apple’s voice assistant Siri last month.

Westpac customers with iPhones operating iOS11 or later and the latest Westpac banking app can now use Siri to check their account balances and even transfer money to family or friends.

RELATED: Bank transfers with your voice? It’s about to happen with Siri for Westpac

Need a closer look at Westpac’s bank account before making the switch to paying with PayWear? Check out our review of the Westpac Choice bank account, or to compare a wider variety of options head over to the Mozo bank account comparison hub today!

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