Ever since I got my hands on a contactless payment card, the chip-and-pin system feels archaic to me. I know it sounds petty (it’s only 4 digits after all), but in comparison to a ‘tap and pay’ experience entering my pin number feels more long-winded than I’d like.

That’s why I was excited to try out Gemalto’s contactless wristband for myself, and I have to say that it’s a really impressive preview of what mainstream contactless payments could be. I got a chance to try it out at a Rugby match recently and it was effortless; all I had to do was raise my wrist up to the card machine, tap, and the payment was made. Check out this short video of the wristband in action, and my overall thoughts on it:

So without diving into the geeky stuff too much (you can read more about it here), the contactless wristband I used includes something called an “Optelio Contactless ​MiniTag”. It’s a very small, waterproof contactless card that can be used on a keychain or a wristband, like Saracens Rugby club have.

Having spent the day at the stadium I actually think this tech has a lot of potential. There were hundreds of fans were wearing supporter wristbands as it was, and the prospect of using a branded wristband which also allows you to pay for stuff at the stadium and your commute home is very appealing and convenient.

It isn’t limited to use in sports stadiums either. I can see this sort of payment technology being successful at places like music festivals, theme parks, holiday resorts and night clubs too. The way I see it: any place where you don’t really want to be carrying a wallet or cash, but want the ability to pay quickly and easily.

One of the strongest use-cases for wristbands like these are in family-orientated environments (like the aforementioned theme parks), where perhaps the parent wants to give their kids £10-20 to spend. Rather than handing out cash or cards which can get lost, Gemalto’s tech makes it easy to allocate a pre-set amount to each wristband. To top that off, these things are great for safety too: unlike cash or cards, wristbands are covert and don’t attract unwanted attention from thieves.

To finish off I’ll leave you guys with a video from Gemalto which explains the tech in a little more detail. Enjoy!


Fabio Virgi

I'm the Founder & Editor of Let's Talk Tech and a travel blog called Fab Meets World. Some people call me a geek, I think they're probably right. I'm fascinated by technology and innovation, love good design and own way too many gadgets for my own good. Want to connect? Get in touch on Twitter and Instagram.