Why paying with your smartwatch is just a matter of time

VISA head honcho on Apple Pay and the Apple Watch

Being able to pay with your smartwatch is not new. Devices with embedded contactless payment chips have been on the market for well over four years now but Apple could give wrist payment the momentum it needs to compete with plastic payments.

Visa's Executive Director for mobile in Europe, Jeremy Nicholds, reckons that Europe will lead the way for mobile transactions by a wide margin.

He told TechRadar: "Wearables could be a driver for mobile transactions in the short term. 2015 will be a tipping point year thanks to Apple Pay, which has galvanised the market, and the Apple Watch."

Nicholds notes that Spain, which hosts Mobile World Congress every year, has been a great promoter of contactless with more than 500,000 outlets in action.

Europe in pole position

That's twice as many as in the United States despite the latter having seven times more potential customers around. Things though are likely to change this year.

The Cupertino-based company has galvanised the market and vendors like Visa have helped in spreading contactless by subsidising the move to card from cash (e.g. in Poland). Social networks will also drive mobile transactions with mobile payments for services becoming mainstream.

Google has already enabled payments via email (Gmail) for millions of users worldwide, and Facebook and Twitter are working on their own mobile payment solutions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré (Twitter, Google+) has been musing and writing about technology since 1997. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, developing an uncanny attraction for anything silicon, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro.