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August 29, 2017

Fitbit steps into the future with contactless visa payments

Fitbit's latest smartwatch will feature payment technology following agreements with card companies.

By April Slattery

Fitbit has announced that its first smartwatch, Fitbit Ionic, will include contactless visa payments via Fitbit Pay to enhance user experience.

Ionic is the newest wearable to join the Fitbit family and will include payment technology to users in over 10 countries.

Fitbit steps into the future with contactless visa payments

Fitbit Ionic will feature contactless on the go payments.
Photo:Business Wire

The wearables giant announced deals with multiple card firms including Visa, Mastercard and American Express to enable users of the new smartwatch to make contactless payments straight from their wrist.

Users of the new Fitbit model ‘Ionic’ can pay with their smartwatch by loading their Visa credit or debit card on the Fitbit companion app and then hold the smartwatch near a NFC-enabled payment reader for easy payments on the go.

Banks working alongside Fitbit’s new feature include Banco Santander, Bank of America, Capital One, HSBS, OCBC, Royal Bank of Canada, UOB and US Bank.

Jim McCarthy, executive vice president of innovation and strategies partnerships at Visa Inc. said: “Partnering with Fitbit on its new Fitbit Pay service is another step forward in the growth of Internet of Things and shows how Visa is enabling companies across technology industry to help us all move forward towards a cashless future.”

Fitbit Ionic will be “Fitbit’s most advanced device to date” according to the wearables company. Features of the smartwatch will include a new swim exercise mode, multi-day battery, industry-leading GPS, smart notifications and Fitbit Pay.

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The survey, “How We Will Pay”, carried out by FitBit found more than 85% of users reported wearables help save time and improves efficiency. By introducing the seamless payment technology, it will enhance Fitbit user experience and develop the device one step further.

Read More: Wearables set to boom in spite of current market gloom

Jon Oakes, VP of Product Management at Fitbit said: “We are proud to partner with Visa and offer the ability to pay on the go with Fitbit Pay on Fitbit Ionic, offering more convenience for our users to help them reach their health and fitness goals.

“Whether grabbing a smoothie post-run or paying for a coffee while counting steps on a city tour, we are delighted to give users the option to leave their wallet at home and simply pay with their device.”

The new smartwatch is expected to be released in October.

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