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Payment by wristband will overtake credit cards, NI tech conference told

By Michael McHugh

Published 19/07/2016

MasterCard said it
MasterCard said it "firmly disagrees" with the basis of the claimCredit cards could be overtaken by wearable payment technology within five years, a leading financial expert has told a Belfast conference

Credit cards could be overtaken by wearable payment technology within five years, a leading financial expert has told a Belfast conference.

Visa is providing everyone who attends the Olympics in Brazil next month with a wristband allowing them to make payments from anywhere within the Olympic complex.

And the 'Internet of Things' means customers could be constantly connected to their banks or other institutions, Mark Sievewright, the Welsh president of credit union solutions at the US financial services company Fiserv, said.

He added: "The revolution that we have seen in payments means that now, right now today, and progressively over the next five to seven years, the plastic card might not be the universal tool with which to pay."

Mr Sievewright addressed the World Credit Union Conference in Belfast.

He said: "We are now talking about moving money through technology that we wear.

"Just imagine that phone that we had back in 1994 which now fits very well into our pockets, wallets and purses can now be used to move money."

The Internet of Things is designed to aid communication, improve ease of use and provide immediacy, the expert said.

It involves connecting household items like white goods or heating controls to the internet to allow them to be remotely operated.

Mr Sievewright mused on its impact on credit unions.

He said: "What if the door on my fridge was suddenly interactive because it had a screen or a panel that allowed me to undertake online transactions, pay bills?"

The conference was also told that filling out a mortgage application with your banker over the internet from the coffee shop could soon become reality with developments in mobile video calling.

Car loans may be arranged through a tablet or smartphone using a connection controlled by a bank representative a continent away, a company pioneering the mobile application said.

Utah-based Financial Town said its platform allowing a live video stream in part of the screen and signing or scanning of documents in another part was unique.

Chief executive officer Gene Pranger said: "You can get quick and easy access to a financial service representative.

"When you go for your first mortgage or want to buy another car you don't have to walk somewhere, you can just do it from the coffee shop and have a personal discussion with your banker.

"That is going to be a lot more efficient and easy for you as a consumer, so that is what will force the issue for me."

He said he expected to have 40 institutions using his BankOn Mobile Video system by next year.

"In 10 years you will probably find this is very commonplace, all financial institutions are going to be forced to move in this direction."

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