A year after it introduced a ring to allow Aussies a faster way to make tap and go payments, Bankwest has revealed the extent to which wearable payment technologies are being used to make purchases.
Perth-headquartered Bankwest had trialled various wearable options, including wristbands and key fobs, with staff in 2017, before narrowing its focus down to a waterproof ring that it released to customers 12 months ago.
Over that time, the bank has collated data about how the payments technology is being used by its customers.
It found that, throughout 2018, customers who had one of the rings as well as one of the bank’s debit Mastercards used the ring for over a quarter (28 per cent) of their purchases.
That figure rose to one-third of all purchases made by Christmas shoppers during December.
The bank’s executive general manager of customer solutions and insights, Pieter Vorster, suggested that the ring highlights the rising popularity of payment options that are fast and simple for consumers going about their daily lives.
“The speed at which using the Bankwest Halo has become the norm for so many of our customers shows how flexible Australians are in the manner in which they want to be able to pay for their goods and services,” he said.
“When the ring first arrives in the post it seems, perhaps understandably, the customer is a little wary and will test the waters by buying a few low-value items at first.
“But, after a few days, they’re getting used to it and the value of the transactions they make go up and soon it becomes their main method of paying at the till.”
The payment ring remains a relatively niche product to date, with a spokesperson for Bankwest confirming that it is currently being used by approximately 15,000 customers, out of its pool of 1.1 million consumers and business customers, but will be the subject of continued refinements and enhancements.
Going forward, the spokesperson said that more features and services will be added to the ring, firstly linked to debit cards followed by a credit card version.
Bankwest did not immediately have data available on the number of rings that had been reported lost or stolen, but it did state the process for doing so is the same as reporting a lost or stolen card.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.
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