New technologies to protect online shoppers

FitPay CEO Michael Orlando was interviewed on Fox35 TV at the recent Card Not Present Expo in Orlando, Florida:

(WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -By the end of this year, you’re likely to have a new and improved credit card meant to protect you from fraudsters, but it will not protect you from fraud committed online…

…Mike Orlando, the CEO of a company called Fit Pay, told FOX 35 that biometrics could one day be collected via a wearable fitness tracker and used to authenticate a transaction.

His company has already developed a system that uses devices like a Fit Bit or a Jawbone UP to authenticate transactions without using biometrics.

“We think the authentication with a wearable device can replace those types of standard authentication models and it’ll allow you to do a lot of things on line as well as in person,” Orlando said.

See the full segment here.


Tim O’Reilly: Silicon Valley is massively underestimating the impact of IoT

VentureBeat’s Chris O’Brien interviewed publisher Tim O’Reilly about the impact of the IoT. There are a number of great insights in the story including this one:

He (O’Reilly) said Uber is also disrupting payments, more so even than much hyped services like Apple Pay. With Apple Pay, you replace one payment device (a credit card) with another payment device (a smartphone or Apple Watch).

“But with Uber, once the service is booked, payment just happens when it’s over — no need for another action by consumers. O’Reilly sees a day when connected gadgets allow for payment systems where stores and machines simply recognize people and conduct a whole transaction automatically.

“What Uber is doing with payments may be more important in the long run than Apple Pay,” O’Reilly said. “Apple Pay re-creates the old workflow, just with a new device. It would be revolutionary to say we don’t need that at all.”

 See O’Brien’s full coverage of the interview here.


Wearables: The Next Mobile Payment Device?

Wearable Devices Preferred Over Mobile Phones for In-Store Payments

eMarket.com, March 3, 2015

Em GraphMobile payments aren’t a new concept, but most chatter has focused on the usage of mobile phones to purchase items. However, based on December 2014 polling by Stratos, wearables can’t be left out of the conversation. Among US smartphone owners, more than two-thirds said they would prefer to use a wearable device over a mobile phone to make in-store payments.

See more at: eMarketer.com

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Generation Z customers choose biometrics over passwords

From The Paypers:

According to new research conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of Visa Europe, 76% of 16 to 24 year old consumers in the UK would feel comfortable using various biometric security measures, such as facial recognition, fingerprints and retina scans, to make payments in place of traditional authentication methods like passwords. Another 69% of people polled in this age group also believe biometric payments will make their lives faster and easier.

Full Article


The Mobile-Payment War Is On

Wall Street Journal columnist Charlie Wells included FitPay today in a story today about mobile payments:

Wall Street Journal, By Charlie Wells

Companies ranging from Apple to Uber gave consumers a taste of something new in 2014: What it feels like to make a purchase without a wad of cash or the swipe of a credit card.

The companies say their latest payment systems—which use new technology on mobile devices—benefit consumers by reducing “friction,” making it faster and easier for customers to pay for what they want with their smartphones…


…Some younger firms, meanwhile, have set out to explore uncharted payment territory. FitPay co-founder Michael Orlando says he was inspired to add the ability to pay to wearable fitness bands after a melted energy bar wrecked his wallet on a bike ride and he couldn’t buy a beer.

Some four months ago, Mr. Orlando began building a payment platform that will identify users by their electrocardiograph, the unique activity of their hearts. Stores will be able to sense when authenticated customers enter and want to make a purchase, communicating with FitPay to process the transaction. One report compared the service to something out of the sci-fi film “Minority Report.” Mr. Orlando says it will be available in April 2015.

Full article



FitPay Aims to Eliminate Effort from Wearable Payments

By Bailey Reutzel – Payments Source


FitPay Inc., a wearable technology provider, is betting that the only way to change consumer behavior is to eliminate consumer behavior.

Its software is designed to work through a payment-capable bracelet, but it doesn’t work like other bracelets and smartwatches that require users to hold a wrist up to a payment reader. FitPay’s approach is more like the system predicted in the science fiction film Minority Report, where customers are identified automatically as soon as they enter a store.

The bracelet authenticates users through electrocardiography (ECG) or the electrical activity of the heart and communicates with the merchant using Bluetooth Low Energy. FitPay will initially support Bioynm’s Nymi band, which is also being used by MasterCard and RBC.

Other prominent mobile payment providers, including Apple Pay, haven’t fundamentally changed the user experience even as they shift consumers away from cards, said Mike Orlando, co-founder and CEO of FitPay.

“The consumer is still interacting with the terminal and the phone and forcing the consumer to do something,” Orlando said. “The change that will create adoption is … an experience where it’s completely touchless.”

The bracelet communicates with Bluetooth beacons in each store. These beacons can determine when shoppers enter a store and when they approach the point of sale.

When it’s time to pay, the merchant rings up the items for the customer and FitPay pushes the transaction through. Consumers can see the total on the merchant terminal and they also receive a notification on their mobile device that they’ve paid.

While consumers don’t want to go through a bunch of steps to transact, FitPay’s system could make some nervous. If a merchant for instance accidentally rings up an item twice or rings up an item that the customer doesn’t want there isn’t a way to stop the transaction right at the point of sale. Instead disputes are dealt with on the back end by FitPay.

True to its name, FitPay is also focusing on the health and fitness data that can be gleaned from wearables. The company is building a rewards platform and sees a future where merchants and brands pay to access this data and push offers to consumers. For example, Jamba Juice might want to reward consumers with a free smoothie if they walk 10,000 steps a day, said Orlando.

FitPay charges the merchant a per-transaction fee, and the consumer-facing mobile app that ties into the wearable could be monetized in the future as well.

FitPay plans on launching its wearable sysytem in May 2015. The company is currently beta testing the product with several merchants and banks but wouldn’t disclose their names.

FitPay expects its merchant and banking partners to help promote and distribute its wristbands. The company also plans to tie into some of the open fitness platforms, such as MapMyFitness (owned by Under Armour) and MyFitnessPal.

Wearables are getting a significant amount of attention as the end of 2014 nears. PNC is readying its tech to deploy on wearables. PayPal is continuing its wearable wallet push by supporting the Pebble smartwatch.

Disney reports sharp adoption of its payment-capable MagicBands, which also work as hotel keys and theme park tickets. And the upcoming Apple Watch will support Apple Pay.


No Wallet, No Phone, No Card Required – But Ya Gotta Have Heart

By D.J. Murphy, Editor-in-Chief, CardNotPresent.com

The emerging trend of fitness wearables, a passion for taking friction out of payment transactions and melted chocolate coalesced over the past year into a startup that hopes you never have to take a wallet—or a phone—out of your pocket to pay for things ever again.

FitPay, a California-based company, was conceived when CEO Michael Orlando, a payments veteran from CyberSource and authentication technology company Jumio, went on a bike ride. Orlando and a friend planned a long ride with a stop for refreshments, so he took along a pouch with his phone, a credit card and a chocolate energy bar. When the pair finished their ride on the hot California day, Orlando’s hopes for a cold beer were dashed when he opened the pouch and his energy bar had melted over his phone and the card, rendering both of them useless. More