Barclays pitches watch makers on the benefits of wearable payments

Timex's Fairfield Chronograph features bPay built into the strap
SMART WATCH: Timex’s Fairfield Chronograph features contactless payments built into the strap

Adding payments capabilities to watches and fitness trackers deliver benefits beyond simply meeting customer demand for new and innovative products, Barclaycard’s Adam Herson says. It can also provide brands with access to a wealth of transaction data that can be used to gain a more detailed picture of who their customers are and the lifestyles they live.

“The wearable payments functionality in a contactless timepiece creates data from every payment transaction, Herson explains in an article for WatchPro. “By working with the payments partner to unlock insights from this data, watch companies have a new opportunity to better understand their customers.”

A watch company could use the anonymised, aggregated data to identify that their typical customer is a female coffee-lover aged 35-40, Herson says, and to create collaborations that drive loyalty and retention.

“If a company knows, for example, that their customers regularly makes purchases at theatres in London, they could partner with a high-profile theatre company to offer early access to bookings, or discounted tickets,” Herson suggests.

“The payment data can also help businesses benchmark performance against competitors in order to inform marketing strategy. For example, a watch brand could use the aggregated data to understanding how much their customers are spending on their brand compared to the rest of the watch and jewellery category.

“This would help them decide whether to focus their efforts on deepening their share of wallet with existing customers, or on new customer acquisition.”

Seven watch brands signed deals to embed Barclaycard’s bPay wearable payments technology “in a variety of timepieces, sports trackers and watch straps” in March 2018.