Bank of America, FitPay partner to speed up wearable payments
Bank of America, FitPay partner to speed up wearable payments
(Credit: Garmin)

Bank of America, FitPay partner to speed up wearable payments

Bank of America and contactless payment platform provider FitPay have agreed to extend wearables payment services to the bank’s customers.

The collaboration between Bank of America and FitPay will enable the bank’s credit and debit cardholders to make contactless payments directly from wearable devices at NFC-enabled point of sale (POS) locations and more than 9,000 Bank of America ATMs.

Under the agreement, Bank of America will participate in FitPay’s Digital Wallet Program, which enables manufacturers of Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable devices to add contactless payment capabilities to their product.

The FitPay platform uses tokenization, a payment security technology that replaces cardholders’ account information with a unique digital identifier (a ‘token’) on the device, to transact highly secure contactless payments.

Read more: FitPay brings prepaid functionality to IoT and wearable devices

Meeting requirements

The collaboration includes ensuring that all devices meet the bank’s technical usage, security, branding and consumer experience requirements. Product announcements from device manufacturers are expected later this year and during 2018.

“As digital payments evolve, our goal is to give Bank of America customers access to payment options that are easy to use and highly secure,” said Mark Monaco, head of enterprise payments at Bank of America. “Working with FitPay will allow our customers to use a range of new contactless payment devices to improve the payment experience, provide a high level of security, and fit seamlessly into any lifestyle.”

Michael Orlando, COO of parent company NXT-ID and president of FitPay, said that broad adoption of digital payments requires fundamentally changing the payment experience and making new methods widely available. “Our work with device manufacturers and Bank of America is driving both of these goals,” he said.

Manufacturers of 15 IoT and wearable devices currently integrate with the company’s payment platform, including the Garmin Vivoactive 3 smartwatch.

The wearables market grew 18 percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to a recent IDC report, with Xiaomi and Apple taking first and second place, respectively, in terms of market share, and nudging one-time market leader Fitbit into third place. Next came Samsung, followed by Garmin.

Read more: Mastercard: “Every connected device will be a commerce device.”