Samsung Electronics is backing the Contactless Companion Platform in an effort to expand access to contactless payments beyond NFC-enabled devices.
According to a report in TechCrunch, the Contactless Companion Platform initiative is a partnership with Smartlink, a Swiss FinTech company, and Ingenico, the POS and payment technology company. The idea is to expand contactless payments to people who don’t have banks and into other devices thanks to small NFC chips that can be placed inside a host of devices. Some of those devices and form factors could include a payment card, a rubber wristband, jewelry or a keyfob, reported TechCrunch. Winwatch and Montfort, the two Swiss watchmakers, recently showcased watches that have a Conctactless Companion Platform chip embedded in them. The two companies plan to put the chips in their watches so that they can support payments like the Apple Watch. The chips could even find their way into clothing someday.
“Samsung is looking for other wearable manufacturers to get on board and ‘payment-enable’ their devices to make them more attractive to customers,” said Samsung’s NFC director Jörg Suchy in the report. “The beauty of the CCP is that wearable manufacturers don’t have to significantly change the design of their devices to incorporate the technology — it’s a case of inserting the tiny chip to enable the device for payment,” Suchy added. The way it works now, the Contactless Companion Platform chips can be controlled via an app on a smartphone which can be used to link the bank cards and credit cards. In the future there could be other ways to load the device, including taking the device to a store with cash for the store owner to load up the contactless payment-enabled device. It’s the same way people in London with the contactless Oyster travelcard can add money to their accounts, noted the report.