Paypass watch released

Regular readers of this column will know about the MasterCard Paypass system, an RFID-enabled card that allows cardholders to pay for low-value purchases by waving their card in front of a special terminal.

The system operates rather like the Transport for London's Oystercard and is very handy indeed. Already launched in the US and Canada, as well as in Australasia, the Paypass system will be trialled by the Royal Bank of Scotland in the UK this summer.

Now an Austrian watchmaker called Laks, has released a Paypass watch which looks like a regular analogue wristwatch, but also has a Paypass chipset at its heart.

The watch, which is being trialled in Germany for the World Cup, allows German MasterCard users to pay for their low-value (under US$25) purchases by tapping their watch (gently one hopes -Ed) on a suitable terminal.

The gameplan is to allow visitors to of the World Cup match sites to pay for their purchases using Paypass card or device.

MasterCard has high hopes for its World Cup Paypass program as it expects visitors from all around the world, many of whom will already be enrolled in their own country's Paypass program.

The Laks watches are being released to MasterCard holders in Germany and Taiwan. MasterCard claims that the watches can be used anywhere Paypass is accepted, which currently means around 30,000 locations worldwide.

I suspect that RBS has ambitious plans for Paypass in the UK, as I was amazed to see a Paypass sign at a Burger King at a Moto motorway service station in Yorkshire last week.

I gather from the bemused assistant that Burger King is rolling out the terminal enhancements at several locations around the UK.

This could get interesting...