When Optus launched Cash by Optus late last year, we were fairly impressed — rather than offering a tie-in with a particular bank, the service allows Optus customers to pre-load up to $500 on a virtual pre-paid card, the funds on which can be spent through the use of an NFC-compatible handset and a special Optus SIM.
Optus has announced today that they’ve developed a proof of concept that takes the technology a step further, by pairing it with a wearable element as well. Ben White, Vice President, Mobile Marketing at Optus told us:
Optus was the first Australian telco to launch a mobile payments app late last year, which has received great feedback from our Android customers. The biggest frustration came from our iPhone customers who wanted to try Cash by Optus, but didn’t have a compatible phone. That’s why we’re developing this wearable technology, which is designed to work on both Apple and Android smartphones.
The technology seems to work pretty seamlessly, according to White’s account. It uses wearable technology – a connected watch or a wristband – linked to an Android or Apple handset. Payments can be made using only the wearable without the linked phone nearby. When in close range, the connected watch and linked smartphone sync up via Bluetooth to update the account balance on the connected watch and transaction details on the linked phone.
There’s no word on whether this wearable will be a compatible Android Wear device, or some other special wearable designed for the service, but either way, it’s an interesting prospect.
For more information about Optus’ Cash by Optus product, check out their service site.