KBC to pilot multiple wearable payments options

A person makes a contactless payment with an NFC ring
TRIAL: 1,000 KBC customers will get a free wearable to use for contactless payments over the coming year

Belgian bank KBC is inviting customers to take part in a year-long wearable payments pilot, with each being offered the choice of testing an NFC-enabled ring, keyfob, wristband or watch.

“The trial runs from 1 December 2018 until 31 December 2019 and aims to help us learn how our customers experience wearable payments,” the bank says. “Feedback from testers will be crucial for further developing and launching this new way to pay. KBC customers wishing to participate in the trial have until 18 November this year to apply.

“Once we’ve launched this new method of payment commercially, all of the CBC and KBC Brussels customers will also be able to pay using wearables.”

“KBC will select a group of 1,000 participants from the customers who sign up for the trial and give them a wearable of their choice free of charge at one of the events organised in Flanders.

“The selected customers will also be given the necessary guidance to get started with this new way to pay,” the bank adds. “KBC’s customers will be able to make fully secure wearable payments anywhere they see the Maestro sign.”

“If testers lose their wearable or it’s stolen, they can block it using the app they’ll be given as part of the trial or by having the linked payment card blocked by Card Stop.”

“Over 90% of payment terminals in Belgium are equipped with the required contactless payment technology,” the bank says. “KBC is seeing a steady growth in the number of contactless payments made in Belgium, which quadrupled between September 2017 and September 2018.”

“Our recent launch of Garmin Pay on 23 October focused on customers who lead an active life,” Karin Van Hoecke, KBC’s general manager for digital transformation, explains. “This trial is all about personal banking.

“Contactless payments by wearable is an innovative way to pay that we’d like to explore with our customers. How do they experience it? How do they feel about being able to pay for smaller purchases in shops or lunch in a restaurant with their ring, bracelet or key ring? We can’t wait for their feedback!

“We see wearables as another way to pay, rather than a replacement for other existing payment methods. Our customers will ultimately decide which method they prefer from the broad and most user-friendly choice we want to give them.”