Forget your wallet, forget your phone. Soon all you may need to pay at checkout is your Fitbit wearable.
Fitbit on Wednesday said it is eyeing the release of a wearable NFC payment solution following its recent acquisition of related assets from consumer electronics and financial technology company Coin.
According to Fitbit, the deal with Coin included the transfer of key personnel and intellectual property specific to the company’s wearables payment platform. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Though it said it doesn’t have any plans to introduce wearable payments technology into its 2016 products, Fitbit said the NFC payment technology could be embedded into future Fitbit devices.
“We are focused on making wearable devices that motivate people to reach their health and fitness goals, and that also make their lives easier with the smart features they need most,” Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park said. “Coin has been one of the key innovators in advanced payment solutions. The inclusion of their payment technology into our offerings will further our strategy of making Fitbit products an indispensable part of people’s lives.”
If Fitbit does include NFC payment technology in its devices, the impacts on the mobile payment industry could be huge.
In the first quarter 2016, Fitbit continued its domination of the wearables market, accounting for 24.5 percent of the market share. During the period from January to March, the company shipped 4.8 million devices, for year-over-year shipment growth of just over 25 percent.
By contrast, Apple – who’s Apple Watch already includes Apple Pay technology – only accounted for 7.5 percent of the wearable market share with 1.5 million shipments.