Paying with a patch on your jacket or waterproof keychain? It’s a bit left field, but also kind of not for the payments space.
“I started by being a user,” explains Hayden Cox, the Sydney-based designer of Westpac’s new “PayWear” accessories range.
“I guess as a designer that’s where I always start is using the product and being almost a consumer. That’s how I’ve evolved in manufacturing and designing surfboards.”
The recently launched “Centsitive Objects” includes five accessories – such as the “Band + Chain” that can be converted into a waterproof wristband – featuring secure pouches for sim card-sized chips that allow customers to make contactless payments from debit accounts.
It’s just the latest development in the dynamic payments market, from transferring cash via smart assistants to splitting restaurant bills with mobile phone apps.
Cox, for one, is a believer in the nascent wearables area of payments after his recent “hands on” process from prototype to final product, saying they could become a new mainstream accessories category that integrates into people’s lifestyles.
“We’ve approached this collection…thinking about what some of the criticisms might be in adopting a technology like this,” says Cox, who founded Haydenshapes Surfboards after shaping his first board at 15.
“It’s really heavily focused on the function of it, how can you tap and pay with the product and then how easily is it adopted into your everyday lifestyle.”
Already, Westpac claims more than 56,000 customers are using PayWear following last year’s launch of its “Essentials” range. But the bank’s research shows 71 per cent of Australians would use a wearable if it fit their personal style and lifestyle.