Wear OS update lets smartwatch users make faster NFC payments

Google’s redesigned Wear OS might make smartwatches worth buying again — Mashable — “Previously, if you wanted to use Google Pay on your smartwatch, you’d need to launch the app, which was a multi-tap process. Now, you can make a payment much quicker. It’s not as quick as double-pressing the side button on the Apple Watch to fire up Apple Pay, but it’s way faster than the old way.”





Fossil launches Gen 4 smartwatches with Google Pay support

Fossil unveils its most tech-packed touchscreen smartwatch to date — Fossil — “Exclusively compatible with Google Pay (transit and pay currently available in select countries), NFC prevents users from having to pull out their card every time they need to complete a transaction. With a few taps, your card is ready on watch to streamline any checkout experience. Security is an obvious consideration, and users set up a unique lock code on their watch to help protect from any identity or data theft.”




Garmin adds NFC payments to Fenix smartwatches

Garmin debuts the Fenix 5 Plus, adds maps, music, Garmin Pay and wrist-based Pulse Ox to its popular multisport GPS watch series — Garmin — “Garmin International Inc, a unit of Garmin Ltd, today announced the Fenix 5 Plus series, its next generation of GPS multisport watches with built-in routable topographical maps, storage for music playlists, Garmin Pay contactless payment solution and wrist-based Pulse Oximeter 1 for altitude acclimation awareness.”




Google expands support for wearable payments to Canada, Spain, and Australia

Google Pay on Wear OS officially spreads to three new countries — Android Police — “In addition to using NFC-equipped watches to make regular mobile payments, users in Australia can use their Wear OS devices with the Opal ticketing system to pay for single-trip tickets on select rail and ferry lines… Formerly, Google’s payment service was only supported on Android Wear (now Wear OS) devices in the US and the UK.”


Fitbit includes payments on special edition of new Versa smartwatch

Fitbit introduces Fitbit Versa, the smartwatch for all — Fitbit — “Leave your wallet at home and easily pay in any store where contactless payments are accepted… Now available with Fitbit Pay on Fitbit Versa Special Edition products; supported by nearly 40 banks in 14 countries, through eligible US American Express, Mastercard and Visa cards, with more countries and banks rolling out in 2018.”



Commonwealth Bank of Australia adds support for Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now available for Commonwealth Bank customers — Commonwealth Bank of Australia — “Commonwealth Bank customers will now have access to Samsung’s contactless payments platform, Samsung Pay… Today’s announcement follows CBA’s partnership with Google in November to offer Android Pay on compatible devices at almost 800,000 stores across Australia. CBA customers have also been able to make payments on the go with Fitbit and Garmin’s new payment-enabled smartwatches.”


Huawei Pay targets Eastern European launches

UnionPay International and Huawei sign global cooperation agreement — UnionPay International — “Next, UnionPay International and Huawei plan to launch Huawei Pay in more markets along the Belt and Road, especially in the Eastern Europe… Huawei Pay now supports the bank cards issued by 66 issuers and is available with 20 terminal devices including mobile phones and watches… In 2017, the transaction volume via Huawei Pay exceeded RMB4bn (US$632m).”


Samsung patents blood flow biometric for smartphones and wearables

Samsung’s patent shows authenticating users by measuring their blood flow patterns — SamMobile — “The patent describes a method to identify users based on blood flow patterns in their fingers or wrists using sensors in smartphones and smartwatches… According to the patent application, it is possible to authenticate users based on their blood flow patterns as ‘the arterial conduction paths of different users are almost never identical’.”


Garmin unveils smartwatch for runners with built-in music and payments

Garmin introduces the Forerunner 645 Music – a GPS running watch with integrated music and Garmin Pay contactless payments — Garmin — “[Garmin] today announced the Forerunner 645 Music, a GPS running watch with integrated music that gives athletes the freedom to enjoy their favourite tunes on a run or during a workout without having to take a phone along. Additionally, when in need of a bottle of water or a quick bite to eat, Garmin Pay contactless payment solution lets users pay for purchases with their watch and keep on moving.”


First US gym adds support for Apple Watch NFC pairing with exercise machines

Apple Watch GymKit syncing arrives in exactly one US gym — Engadget — “GymKit syncing on the Apple Watch technically arrived with watchOS 4.1, but there’s been one main obstacle to using it: Actually finding a gym that supports it. Only one fitness center each in Australia and the UK have enabled it so far… One solitary gym in New York City, Life Time Athletic at Sky, now has 13 GymKit-capable machines (including treadmills, bikes, ellipticals and stair steppers) that will pair with your smartwatch.”


World’s thinnest smartwatch to include support for multiple NFC services

Fidesmo and Haikara collaborate on the future of smartwatches — Fidesmo — “Haikara is the world’s thinnest smartwatch that lasts for up to a week on one charge. It allows you to change your watch face to match your outfit and mood, and it looks great on your wrist. By using Fidesmo’s platform Haikara will enable their customers to pay, access their office building or use public transport.”


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