Visa Europe Envisions The Future Of Wearable Payments

The payment services cooperative teamed up with a prominent art and design school in London to challenge students to visualize how wearable payment devices will look and function by 2020.

Several design concepts, created by five young designers enrolled in Central Saint Martins MA Industrial Design course, were produced as a result of Visa Europe’s collaboration with the school.

The students and graduates explored the next frontier of frictionless commerce and came up with concepts that included digitally managing loose change, using a simple hand gesture to categorize payments, and the integration of fashion, social media and commerce with the creation of a payment brooch, Visa Europe said.

“Visa Europe’s expertise in developing innovative payment solutions, combined with Central Saint Martins’ capabilities in human-centric design, is the ideal blend of skill and know-how to explore the wearables opportunity, developing inspirational concepts that people will actually want to experience,” Nick Mackie, Head of Contactless at Visa Europe, said in a company release.

The project concluded with a showcase of three co-created design concepts at Visa Europe’s Technology Partner Forum on Wednesday (Sept. 23), which the company said it hoped would spark ideas and conversation about the future of wearable payments.

Nick Rhodes, Program Director, Product Ceramic & Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins, said: “This exciting collaboration with Visa Europe has revealed not only the great potential for wearable contactless payments, but also the massive opportunities for the technology beyond; many of which reside in interactions so routine and every day that we often lose sight of them.”

Rhodes added that the participating Central Saint Martins students and graduates were provided with a unique opportunity to work with a leading payments organization and contribute a fresh perspective to the future of wearable payments.

One of the design concepts, called Small Change, aims to help people manage small-denomination payments transactions digitally in order to move away from the use of coins. In a single wearable device, users would be able to collect the value of loose change while keeping the tangibility that comes with the usage of cash. The device would come equipped with an e-ink screen to display the available funds and could be customized for various use cases.

Check out the design concept video below:

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