Optus building its own wearables for mobile payments

Optus last night unveiled a proof-of-concept smartwatch that will enable its customers to make mobile payments through the Cash by Optus service. The prototype itself is best described as a Bluetooth-enabled analogue watch, with its smart functionality solely enabling NFC payments. After the wearable is setup, payments can still be made when the watch isn't in range of a linked in phone.

According to Ben White, Optus' Vice President of Mobile Marketing, the teclo's wearable devices were thought of as a way to enable to iPhone uses to Cash by Optus.

"The biggest frustration came from our iPhone customers who wanted to try Cash by Optus, but didn’t have a compatible phone," said White. "That’s why we’re developing this wearable technology, which is designed to work on both Apple and Android smartphones."

Cash by Optus makes use of NFC technology, and works in a similar way to a prepaid debit card. Customers can load up to AUD$500 into the app, and make purchases under AUD$100 through any payWave-supported terminal. At present, one of 110 compatible Android devices and an NFC-enabled SIM are required to use the service.

In addition a watch, Optus is also look at launching fitness bands with similar functionality. The telco is planning to release its first wearables before the end of this year. 

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