A new wearable device by German vendor Wirecard enables users to make a payment by holding the wristband against NFC-based payment terminals. What distinguishes the Smart Band from other such products is that it uses host card emulation (HCE) technology.
HCE allows data for transactions to be stored on, and accessed from, cloud servers rather than a mobile device, and without the use of a hardware-based secure element. Wirecard said its wristband is the first payment wearable based on HCE.
The details of the transaction are displayed in real time on the screen of the wearable device, which is worn on the wrist, as well as on a smartphone app. The Smart Band is wirelessly connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE).
The device can also be connected to numerous mobile services, such as loyalty schemes, and can be used as an admission control wristband. It would work well in settings such as cruise ships, festivals, holiday resorts, hotels, ski slopes and theme parks, the firm said.
In order to carry out a contactless payment, the user first preloads a one-off token to their wristband via their smartphone. This is done through Wirecard’s NFC HCE technology. One token will be used for each payment transaction. The tokens replace card data that has been provided, which is stored in a secure, cloud-based server.
The Wirecard Smart Band can also be used to make payments when the user’s mobile phone is in offline mode.
The Smart Band will be shown off next week (18-20 January) at the DLD15 event in Munich.