Pay wear­ables hit Scan­di­navia

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - DESPINA KONTI

The coro­n­avirus has in­creased con­tact­less trans­ac­tions and ac­cel­er­ated the pen­e­tra­tion of wear­able de­vices that al­low for pay­ments without the need for cards or other ap­pli­ances. Greek startup Neos Be­yond Pay­ments has joined this mar­ket with its bracelets, which are about to hit the mar­kets of Swe­den, Den­mark and Nor­way, coun­tries where cash is hardly ever used any­more.

The use of pas­sive wear­ables, such as those pro­duced and sold by Neos, is flour­ish­ing in Europe, with trans­ac­tions con­ducted through them grow­ing eight­fold in just one year.

The Greek startup has struck a co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment with Swedish tech­nol­ogy firm Fidesmo that al­lows de­vice own­ers to con­nect their cards with their bracelets and make pay­ments us­ing the lat­ter.

“By wear­ing a Neos bracelet, con­sumers can make pay­ments via any card ter­mi­nal for con­tact­less trans­ac­tions by just mov­ing their wrist,” says Panayi­o­tis Markidis, one of the founders of Neos.

“Sur­veys show that cer­tain con­sumers fear us­ing their smart­phones to make pay­ments, ei­ther for prac­ti­cal rea­sons or due to se­cu­rity con­cerns. In con­trast, our tech­nol­ogy needs no charg­ing and op­er­ates in­de­pen­dently, without users need­ing to have their cell­phone or wal­let with them,” Markidis ex­plains. “In case the bracelet is lost, users can can­cel the con­nec­tion of their cards with the bracelet via their smart­phone, without need­ing to can­cel their cards,” he adds.

Be­sides the Scan­di­na­vian coun­tries, the Greek com­pany is also ac­tive in the Ger­man mar­ket and in­tends to en­ter the Bri­tish and other Euro­pean mar­kets. How­ever, for the Neos de­vice to be used, to­k­eniza­tion tech­nol­ogy needs to pen­e­trate the bank­ing mar­ket fur­ther, espe­cially in Greece, as this tech­nol­ogy rep­re­sents an in­dis­pens­able part of Neos’ bracelets, pro­tect­ing con­sumers’ card data dur­ing trans­ac­tions.

Markidis notes the prod­uct has been ap­proved for use by Master­card, while Neos has cre­ated two col­lec­tions: the stylish Co­coon col­lec­tion, with plas­tic resin and sil­ver side parts, and the sportier-look­ing Poly­gon col­lec­tion, pro­duced from re­cy­cled biodegrad­able plas­tic. Prices range from 45 to 100 eu­ros and the bracelets are avail­able at the com­pany’s e-shop.

a Neos bracelet, con­sumers can make pay­ments via any card ter­mi­nal for con­tact­less trans­ac­tions by just mov­ing their wrist,’ says Panayi­o­tis Markidis, one of the founders of Greek startup Neos Be­yond Pay­ments. The prod­uct has been ap­proved for use by Master­card.

‘By wear­ing

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