Mastercard is the first major credit card company to introduce contactless payments using Garmin vivoactive smartwatches. As of right now, the technology will be available in Australia, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States, but the token service follows a global trend of contact free transactions.
Credit cards were the replacement for cash, and now Garmin vivoactive pay technology looks like the end of plastic. Forget your wallet at home, and roam free with a vivoactive strapped to your wrist, and with a simple tap of your device you can make these simple touch free transactions in any establishment that allows tap payments.
The smartwatch also sports a range of features, with the ability to measure heart rate (explicitly for the physically active, but perhaps one could measure their thrill levels when making a large purchase), make phone calls and texts, load in your itinerary, check the weather, or summon an Uber. Without carrying a purse, wallet, or phone, it evokes images a new way to move throughout the world. For example, you can go for your run whilst measuring your success, grab a post-workout coffee and cookie at the cafe, call home to see if there’s anything else you need to pick up from the grocery store, organize your schedule, and decide to get a Lyft home with just the clothes on your back and device on your wrist.
This technology provides a vision of the future wherein the person-machine relationship is significantly more intimate. The idea that you are what’s in your device, a harbinger for a bionic individual.
“Mastercard is focused on delivering the technology that will help consumers live the increasingly digital lifestyle they desire,” said Kiki Del Valle, senior vice president, Commerce for Every Device. “Now, Mastercard cardholders can be the first to pay by simply holding their smartwatch near a contactless terminal.”