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Jawbone And AmEx Team Up For Sporty Payments

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Collaboration will see future Jawbone devices equipped with NFC payment facility

Fitness fanatics will soon be able to pay for goods on the run using their wearable devices, following a tie-up between manufacturer Jawbone and American Express.

The two companies are set to announce a partnership this week that will see NFC payment chips embedded in future Jawbone devices, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This would allow AmEx customers to quickly pay for items at selected stores simply by holding their device up to a contactless payment terminal, with payment then taken from their account.

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The new system will therefore challenge the likes of Apple Pay, which is set to be included in the upcoming Apple Watch, and Google Wallet, which enables payments through a variety of Android-powered devices. Both systems already support American Express, so it remains to be seen if the Jawbone partnership will bring any new functions to users.

Which devices will support the new system remains to be seen, as the report only mentions an unspecified ‘fitness band’. However it’s also possible that existing Jawbone devices could support payment functions via clip-on cases.

The UK has already seen a few payment-enabled wearables over the past few months, starting with Barclaycard’s bPay wristband, which allows consumers of any bank to pay simply and easily with just a ‘wave of their wrist’.

Wearable technology is set to boom over the next few years as more and more of us turn to new devices. Figures from analyst firm IDC estimate that 45.7m wearable devices will be sold this year, up 133.4 percent from last year’s figure, as the release of the Apple Watch and other devices push up sales.

The rise is only set to continue over the next few years, with IDC estimating 126.1m units will be sold in 2019.

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