Mobile Payments

Fitbit’s Plans To One Up Apple Watch

Normally focused on exercise, Fitbit appears to be considering the (business) health benefits of mobile payments.

Reuters reports that the fitness wearables company has purchased wearable technology assets from Coin, a startup in the business of NFC devices (and who, earlier this year, struck a deal with MasterCard as part of the latter’s efforts in the realm of connected commerce).

The outlet finds Fitbit — a dominant player in the wearables space but not yet a factor when it comes to payment capabilities therein — to be in a unique position to quickly gain ground on more established names in the mobile wallet space — namely Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Wallet — should it apply its newly acquired NFC-related assets (including personnel and intellectual property) from Coin.

Additionally, posits Reuters, Fitbit is already behind in the payments game compared to its rival wearables company, Jawbone, which has a deal with American Express that allows wearers of the Jawbone UP4 fitness band to make payments with the device.

However, Fitbit seems to desire to take its time regarding its new potential avenue, with the company telling the outlet that it does not intend to introduce payments capabilities into its wearable devices this year, but it may do so further down the line.

Reuters adds that the terms of Fitbit’s deal with Coin were not disclosed, but the company did note one element that was not included as part of the arrangement: the soon-to-be-discontinued Coin 2.0 product, a payment device that combines debit, credit and gift cards.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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