A new campaign on Kickstarter by FinTech startup Kerv seeks to raise £77,000 to manufacture a contactless payment ring. The campaign comes a day after the company appointed former Ukash CEO David Hunter as its chairman.
38 million locations
The ring, which will retail at £49.99, comes in a choice of black or white colours, is waterproof and is made from from zirconia ceramic.
Kerv says it never needs charging, doesn’t need to be paired with a smartphone to work and users will be able to manage funds and receive transaction alerts via app, SMS or website with the ring.
The ring is designed to work at 38 million locations worldwide including on Transport for London’s network as well as ten other networks around the world – although the company hasn’t specified which ones just yet.
Beyond payments the ring will be able to share personal data – such as contact, emergency or medical details – at the touch of an NFC-enabled smartphone and access home, office or lockers via compatible NFC-enabled locks.
Current wearables ‘unattractive’
Kerv founder, Philip Campbell, said, “Currently, wearable payment devices are either eye-wateringly expensive or thoroughly unattractive. But the biggest issue I have is that they’re all worn on the wrist, which has to be placed flat against the contactless reader in a way that feels extremely unnatural and awkward.”
He went on to say that the company chose Kickstarter because crowdfunding encourages people to not only make financial contributions but also provide feedback and support.
“A lot of technology in payments strikes me as being a solution looking for a problem. I’m confident that Kerv will be well received on Kickstarter because it solves genuine problems, focuses on the user-experience and makes the underlying technology invisible,” added the new chairman, Dave Hunter.
Have a look at Kerv’s Kickstarter campaign video.
Wearables gaining traction
The wearable arena is steadily becoming filled with players, old and new alike. Visa Europe’s innovation hub recently collaborated with British designer Henry Holland on a contactless payment ring and more recently with art and design institution Central Saint Martins College.
The head of Contactless at Visa Europe went as far as to say that wearables will become a standard feature by 2020.
Amazon have recently launched their new in-store innovation service, Amazon Go.
Google's Android Pay is getting into the festive spirit in the UK by introducing some Christmas rewards on its payment app. It also announces better interaction with Transport for London and Uber.
Mastercard partners with Apple on Apple Pay’s Spain launch and rolls out selfie payments in Latin America
The American tech giant has launched its mobile payment service, Apple Pay, in Spain, partnering with Mastercard, Carrefour and American Express.
Payment terminals have stayed the same over the last 10 years, with steady advances in contactless and mobile wallet transactions. Retailers and brands are making a conscious effort to get closer to consumers.