As promised a few months ago, the folks at FitPay and ConnecteDevice have launched a Crowdfunding campaign for a smart wrist strap that will let you use a Pebble Time smartwatch for mobile payments.
The strap is called Pagaré, and it’s eventually expected to sell for $89, but backers of the Kickstarter campaign can request one for $49 and up. The straps are expected to begin shipping in July.
Smartwatch maker Pebble introduced the concept of smartstraps in early 2015, offering specifications that third-party companies could use to design wrist straps that add functionality to a Pebble watch.
We haven’t actually seen a lot of smartstraps hit the streets since then. But the Pagaré seems to be exactly the sort of thing Pebble was hoping for: a strap that adds a feature that some users will want, while others won’t. Pebble can save money on the cost of producing its watches by leaving NFC and security chips out of the design, because customers who want those features can purchase a 3rd-party solution.
Whether that 3rd-party solution is worth the price may be another question. Sure, a $49 – $89 add-on is a lot cheaper than buying a brand new watch that supports Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Android Pay. But it still seems like a lot of money to spend on an accessory for a watch that you can pick up for as little as $149.
FitPay says the Pagaré is designed to work at 9 million retail locations and uses the same tokenization method as Apple Pay, so that the hardware replaces your account number with a token, for security purposes. The smartstrap doesn’t actually store your credit card data.
The company is also working on integration with public transit, ticketing, and other contactless identification systems.
You can manage your cards by installing the Pagaré app on your phone and watch, scanning your cards, and then using the app on your watch to select the card you want to use to make a payment.
To prevent unauthorized use, Pagaré only works when the watch is on your wrist… and if you take it off and put it back on, you’ll need to enter a PIN before you can make any payments.
If you take off your watch, you’ll need to enter a PIN before you can use Pagaré for payments, which should help prevent other people from accessing your cards.
There are versions of the strap for Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel, and Pebble Time Round smartwatches, with several different color and material options.
via FitPay Blog