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March 23, 2017

Your wearable could soon be your wallet, too, if Samsung gets its way

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Mobile payments are growing increasingly popular, but what if you didn’t have to swipe your phone to pay and used your wrist instead?

Today’s wearables may be useful for tracking the number of steps you’ve taken or calories burned, but soon, they may be able to help you keep tabs on another kind of activity — your bank account. If Samsung has its way, mobile payments of the future may not come from your smartphone, but rather your connected watches, rings, and other wearables. According to a new report from The Verge, Samsung has plans to load connected devices with cash, turning them into prepaid credit cards. Because wouldn’t you just want to scan your wrist to check out?

Because these wearables would only have a fixed value (remember, they’re like prepaid credit cards), ostensibly, you won’t have to worry quite as much about your ring slipping off your finger or getting your smartwatch stolen. The thief wouldn’t be able to make large purchases, and you wouldn’t lose untold amounts of money. This new method of mobile payments could also make the act of giving cash as a gift a bit more tech-savvy or could be used by parents to give children set allowances.

More: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 review

It seems as though Samsung would also place restrictions on when the money in the wearable could be used. For example, if the funds in a smart ring languished for months on end without seeing any activity, they could just disappear and return to the owner’s bank account.

While Samsung hasn’t revealed whether this concept is actually live on any devices quite yet, or what companion app would be necessary to make this payment system work, it seems that plans are underway to bring this dream into a reality. It will all be part of the company’s Contactless Companion Platform (CCP), which is being launched with two partners — mobile wallet developer called Smartlink and the payment terminal manufacturer Ingenico.

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