Wearable technology research reveals consumer attitudes on payments

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Stratos has announced results from its Stratos Wearables Payment study. The consumer survey found that almost one out of three (30%) of US smartphone owners already own a wearable device.

The most popular wearable type was a wristband like Fitbit or Jawbone while the least popular were smart glasses like Google Glass and smart clips. Those who owned a wearable, said they had the following:

  • 53% Smart wristband
  • 32% Wearable camera
  • 26% Smart clip
  • 24% Smart watch
  • 10% Smart glasses

The desire to own a wearable is at an all-time high, with 75% of respondents saying they plan to buy one.  When asked what type of wearable they planned to purchase, the most popular type was a wristband device while the least popular was smart clothing such as pants, tops and jackets. Specifically, smartphone users were interested in buying the following:

  • 39% Smart wristband
  • 29% Wearable Camera
  • 29% Smart watch
  • 19% Smart glasses
  • 9% Smart Clip
  • 8% Smart connected card
  • 6% Smart shoes
  • 5% Smart clothing

When asked if interested in making in-store payments with their wearables – nearly half (43%) of users said they would like this feature. Interestingly, nearly one out of two smartphone owners (48%) would use their wearable more if it had the ability to make payments in stores.

The survey showed that consumers prefer to pay in ways already familiar to them. When given the choice including a mobile device, a connected all-in-one-card or a smart watch – three current leading payment options – the preferred method for making in-store payments was the connected card.   It was by far the most popular with 49% of users preferring this form.  Mobile devices ranked second with watches trailing as a distant third.

Respondents ranked the preferred wearable or device for payment as follows:

  • 49% Pay by “All in one” digital card
  • 32% Pay by mobile device
  • 9% Pay by watch
  • 8% Pay by arm or wristband
  • 2% Pay by smart clip
  • .7% Pay by shoe
  • 0% Pay by clothing

“Consumers are rapidly incorporating wearable technology into their lives, but they want “the right wearable for the right function,” said Thiago Olson, co-founder and CEO of Stratos, Inc.  “Just like a wristband feels right for health monitoring – the connected card with its familiar plastic form is the preferred payment wearable.  But of course, the fact that the card is connected allows them to manage their payments in a way traditional cards can’t begin to equal. It’s going to be an exciting year for wearables – and for payments.”

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