Paying with style: MasterCard integrates payments capabilities into Bulgari watches

Not content with allowing you to buy food using your fridge, MasterCard is continuing its pledge to turn everything into a payment device by partnering with luxury watch brand, Bulgari, and integrating contactless capabilities into its Diagono Magn@sium.

Bulgari-MasterCard-WISeKey

Utilizing WISeKey cyber security technology, the global alliance between Bulgari and MasterCard will enable Bulgari Diagono Magn@sium “intelligent” watch owners to make payments securely at the more than four million retail locations in 74 countries globally that accept MasterCard contactless transactions.

 

Adding value

However, contactless payments are just the start. MasterCard says the payment capability complements the secure access functions that is embedded in the Diagono Magn@sium powered by WiseKey’s cyber security technology.

The secure access functions allow watch owners to unlock the BVLGARI Vault Application, which protects personal digital assets encrypted on consumer smartphones or tablets by storing encrypted replicas of them in a secure cloud buried in “a Swiss military bunker, somewhere in the Alps”. How very Bond-esque.

Additional secure access functions planned by Bulgari include the ability to open select automobile doors, Bulgari hotel doors and other participating partners’ products.

“This cooperation between BVLGARI, MasterCard and WISeKey will open the door to additional eCommerce and marketing opportunities for the Bulgari Ecosystem. The increased security on device payments transactions will bring important benefits to Bulgari clients,” said Carlos Moreira, chief executive officer of WISeKey. 

Monica Eaton-Cardone, the co-founder and CIO of risk mitigation experts, Global Risk Technologies, recently said, “Newer competitors in the payment industry, including Apple Pay and PayPal, will be causing concern to the established names like MasterCard and Visa, who need to constantly evolve to make sure they offer enough added value to retain their dominant market share.”

This looks to be a clear example of this evolution strategy. By diversifying its services and working with fashion schools and designers, wearable companies and wearable technology developers, MasterCard is laying the foundation that would at the very least allow it to stay within touching distance of Visa, but even more so Apple and Samsung who have shown to be unconventional and innovative competitors.

For now these mobile giants rely on the card rails, but MasterCard cannot count on that as being the safety net. These companies innovate at an unprecedented rate and who knows how long before they decide to move away from cards or traditional issuing banks.

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