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Mastercard, Tappy tie up to embed payment chips in fashion accessories

Mastercard, Tappy tie up to embed payment chips in fashion accessories

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2 -min read
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CONSUMERS in Singapore will soon be able to pay for their purchases using their bracelets, analogue watches, rings, or sunglasses.

This will be made possible under a tie-up between payments technology firm Mastercard and Hong Kong-headquartered wearable token service provider Tappy Technologies.

Both companies are embedding their technologies into a range of fashion accessories in the Asia-Pacific, expanding payment functionality beyond smart watches.

The fashion accessories can then be used at any Mastercard merchant that accepts contactless payments.

The first product to debut under this partnership will be Timex Group’s analogue watches.

The US watch maker will roll out its payment-enabled range in the first half of 2020 across a variety of timepiece collections and straps, which will be sold separately and available on Timex.com.

The Timex watches will be launched first in the Singapore market, followed by Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia and other markets in South-east Asia, a Tappy spokesman told The Business Times (BT).

Tappy’s patented payment chip can be embedded into any fashion accessory, transforming them into payment-enabled wearables. The waterproof chip also features a battery-less fingerprint sensor for two-factor verification of higher-priced transactions.

Tappy’s technology will be integrated with the Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES), which tokenises payment credentials. This means payment cards can be digitised and synced with the chips.

The Tappy chips are embedded on the straps for watches, and on the side of the frame for sunglasses. In a bracelet, the chip is embedded in one of the beads, which will be designed to look distinctive from the other beads or charms, the spokesman told BT.

Wayne Leung, Tappy chief executive, said: “Fashion-conscious consumers are now looking to their favourite brands to add payment capabilities to their watches, jewellery and other accessories.”

Mastercard has been working with technology providers such as Tappy through its Accelerate global platform, which offers programmes to support fintech startups and emerging tech brands at every stage of their growth, including market entry and global expansion.

The Accelerate programme that connected Mastercard with Tappy is Mastercard Engage, which connects technology partners with Mastercard customers to help scale their businesses.