Visa Struts Contactless Pay At London Fashion Week

In the midst of London’s Fashion Week, Visa is pushing contactless pay in a fashionable way.

As reported by Gizmodo on Monday (Sept. 21), the payments giant, in partnership with designer Henry Holland, is promoting the NFC technology in tandem with “Visa Europe Collab.” But this seems to be no ordinary advertising. As the site noted, 10 VIPs, who appeared at the catwalk show titled “House of Holland” on Sept. 19, were given rings that held built-in NFC payment cards. Those cards were also loaded with £500. And those rings enabled the wearers to approach models from the show and touch their rings against what the promotion termed “beautifully designed” receiver tags.

[bctt tweet=”In partnership with designer Henry Holland, Visa promoted NFC technology.”]

Then, the receivers connected to a payments system through Bluetooth, made the transaction and the receiver ultimately lit up to ensure the VIP that payment had in fact gone through. Finally, purchases were ready for those consumers backstage, bagged and ready to go, said Gizmodo.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Holland said that the promotion combined art, form and function — as, for example, the brooches worn by models were in the shape of leaves, and the rings worn by the VIPs resembled insects.

As the designer told The Telegraph, “a really big thing for me was making the tech invisible, especially if I’m incorporating it into something as important as my show. From my point of view, it was really about creating two items — the ring and the brooch — that were really desirable pieces that people would want to wear themselves but just happened to have those capabilities.”

The Telegraph reported that the NFC technology remained camouflaged by the overall theme of the event, which was “urban safari,” inspired by Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

Visa Europe has been busy expanding its digital and payments technology, with €200 million earmarked since the beginning of this year to boost technology, including contactless payments. The company also said earlier this year that contactless payments spending had hit $1.8 billion, up as much as threefold from a year earlier. That growth comes as industry stats show that as many as 40 percent of card shipments through early 2015 were contactless.

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