Paying with your smartphone via services like Apple Pay and Android Pay is still a relatively new feature, but what about paying with your watch — without even needing your phone?
Launching on Kickstarter, and fully backed by Pebble, Pagaré is a strap for the Pebble smartwatch embedded with NFC, so all you have to do is place the side of your wrist to a payment terminal to make a payment. Since it uses NFC, there are more than nine million terminals in the world where you can use the Pagaré to make a payment.
Once you get the strap, download the Pagaré app on the Pebble Appstore and add your credit cards. You can switch between cards with the up and down buttons on the watch, and you can set a default card in the app. What’s especially neat is that once you set up your cards, you won’t need your phone to make contactless payments with your watch.
Pagaré also recognizes if your watch is on your wrist, and if it isn’t it disables the payment system. Once you put your watch on, the watch will ask for a pin that you’ll need to input in order to start making payments again. Reassuringly, the service doesn’t store your credit card information, because like Apple Pay it uses a token system as a surrogate.
The design, color, and materials for the straps match Pebble’s own straps, making them nearly indistinguishable. And they’re pretty easy to install, as all you have to do is use the quick-release pins to remove an existing strap, and then reconnect the pins for the new one.
NFC payments aren’t going to be the only use case for Pagaré — the company behind the strap wants to make major transit system services compatible with the strap, and also enable them to substitute for access cards you’d use to go to the gym, and tickets you’d scan for a concert or show.
And if you thought that’s all of the tricks the strap could contain, think again. Pagaré also has a buckle that folds up, revealing a USB plug that you can plug into any USB port to charge your watch. Now you don’t have to carry your charger cable with you — at least not for this device.
As of publication, the Kickstarter has raised $70,232 out of $120,000 and the campaign still has 29 days to go. At retail, Pagaré will cost $89, but you can find Kickstarter specials for as low as $49 for the strap.
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