Australian festival goers trial contactless sunglasses for payments

Visa WaveShades
SHADES PILOT: A successful festival trial could see WaveShades offered for sale in future

Festival goers at the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival taking place across five Australian cities are trialling prototype sunglasses that let them make contactless payments by tapping them against a contactless POS terminal.

The WaveShades have been designed through a collaboration between Visa, sunglasses manufacturer Local Supply and Australian startup Inamo, which is providing the payment chip in the arm of the accessory to enable the payments to take place.

“At each of the five Australian events — Adelaide, Brisbane, Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney — Visa’s WaveShades can be used to make purchases at terminals that accept contactless payments,” Visa says.

“While the sunglasses will not be available for general purchase ahead of time, it is hoped a successful pilot could result in them being offered for sale in the future.”

“The WaveShades utilise the same payments platform previously developed for the Inamo Curl, which was launched in December 2016,” Inamo says. “The Curl is a multi-functional, waterproof wearable that can be attached discreetly and securely to most watch bands and fitness bands, so the wearer can instantly enjoy the freedom and convenience of tap-and-go payments.”

Inamo partnered with Oberthur Technologies and Heritage Bank to enable payments through Curl in December 2016. Heritage Bank acts as the Authorised Deposit-taking Institution (ADI), “holding all monies loaded onto the WaveShades and oversees settlement as they are used and then reloaded,” Inamo says.

A video shows the Visa WaveShades in action:

“Using Inamo’s technology in sunglasses is a logical extension of our mission to move people’s wallets to a wearable,” says Inamo founder and CEO Peter Colbert.

“The financial services environment is evolving at an unprecedented pace, which is exemplified by consumers’ changing relationship with payments,” adds Frederique Covington, senior vice president of marketing for Asia Pacific at Visa.

“The Visa WaveShades pilot is all about showing Australians that innovation in how we pay can make their lives simpler, and everyday experiences seamless and rewarding.”

  • Willam Hugh Murray, CISSP

    In the US, one is more likely to have one’s mobile with them than one’s sunglasses. It may be different in OZ.