FitPay Flexes its Digital Muscles in 2017 IoT Innovator Awards


The payment, credential management, and authentication platform services provider is named a Bronze winner in the Awards’ IoT Consumer Cloud Platform category

 by Kim Kay

IoT product purveyors have been seamlessly weaving connected technology into our daily lives – and subsequently transforming them – for quite some time now. Indeed, consumers have readily embraced everything from smart homes and cars to smart businesses and cities. Consumers have also welcomed smart transactions, especially when those transactions are effortless and can be made via various mobile devices.

It’s simple, really: Consumers want frictionless payment experiences across a range of mediums. As luck would have it, FitPay has taken the wheel by enabling contactless payments and authentication on a range of wearable and IoT devices, effectively driving digital payment options beyond the smartphone.

The judging panel for the 2017 IoT Innovator Awards recognized FitPay’s prowess when it comes to delivering a solid, seamless and secure mobile payment experience to consumers, naming the company a Bronze award winner in the IoT Consumer Cloud Platform category.

The IoT Innovator Awards honor the best of Internet of Things businesses and products across the globe by showcasing the year’s top products, projects, companies and ideas that comprise the IoT landscape.

A token by any other name…
Under the hood, FitPay relies on a proprietary technology platform to bring payment, credential management, authentication and other secure services to the IoT ecosystem. Specifically, FitPay’s tokenization process replaces a cardholder’s account information with a unique digital identifier or “token” to enable infinitely secure contactless payment and authentication services.

By leveraging Embedded Secure Element (eSE) chip technology within devices to drive a powerful and memory efficient payment solution, the token doesn’t need to be refreshed once issued. The beauty of this seemingly simple feature is that it effectively frees wearables and devices from needing to be tethered to a host device or connected to the Internet to transact payments.

Giving credit wear credit is due
It’s safe to wager that the security and freedom FitPay’s platform lend to manufacturers’ devices will give pause to the approximately one-third of consumers who currently own a wearable device but stop using it within six months. What’s more, the robustness of FitPay’s platform can handle not only payments with security and ease, but also other secure transactions, such as transit and keyless entry.

Indeed, by allowing IoT and wearable device manufacturers to add payment and authentication capabilities with virtually zero startup time; no investment in software development; and instant access to the leading credit card networks, it comes as no surprise that 15 IoT and wearable device manufacturers have already integrated with the FitPay payment platform.

It’s also unsurprising that FitPay was acquired by mobile security mover and shaker NXT-ID this past May; the move is one of many that FitPay is making on its march toward explosive growth. That growth includes a number of recent and notable collaboration announcements, including ones with TokenGarmin and Bee by Radiius. These collaborations bring with them a range of form factors – including a ring, a smart watch and a key fob – each with payment capabilities built into them.

A partnership with a nice ring to it
When FitPay partnered with Token to provide payment capabilities for the biometric identity ring provider, it meant that Token was able to do away with the need for items such as credit cards, house keys and passwords with its two-factor authentication method. Authentication comes in the form of an ultra-compact fingerprint sensor in the base of a (rather stylish!) ring and an optical proximity sensor – to ensure against anyone accessing a user’s protected credentials.

FitPay’s platform provides the payment capabilities for the Token ring, which includes full digital wallet functionality (read: contactless payments with an existing credit card) via its Trusted Payment Manager (TPM) platform, which is integrated with the leading card networks.

“Our vision is to offer a device that streamlines the process of authentication throughout the day, while simultaneously protecting users from identity fraud using advanced cryptography,” said Token co-founder and CEO, Melanie Shapiro. “As we looked to add essential services to Token, contactless payment capabilities were a must-have and the FitPay platform offered the best end-to-end solution for our users.”

Token’s December 2017 pre-orders have sold out, but full production begins in the spring of 2018 and will ship on a first come, first served basis.

(Smart)watch this space
FitPay’s payment technology is also the latest feature in Garmin’s newest smartwatch with Garmin Pay, as part of their partnership with Visa and Mastercard. The collaboration means that the Garmin Pay contactless payment is now available for Mastercard and Visa credit, debit and prepaid accounts from many of the network’s major participating issuing banks.

With FitPay’s technology on Garmin’s vívoactive 3 smartwatch, consumers can make purchases right from their wrists, sans phone or wallet, which means they are able to make highly secure contactless payments at near-field communication-enabled (NFC) point-of-sale (POS) terminals. Users simply tap their watches to pay at one of the millions of participating retail locations and ATMs with an existing credit, debit or prepaid card account and – voila – will almost instantaneously receive confirmation that their transactions have been approved.

Creating a buzz with Bee
FitPay is also providing payment capabilities for Bee, a biometric payment key fob launched in September via an Indiegogo campaign by financial technology player, Radiius.

Regarded as one of the most secure (and smallest) biometric NFC payment solutions available, Bee is outfitted with an eSE data chip that holds an encrypted payment credential. This biometrically secure  “wearable wallet” can easily and securely complete contactless payment transactions at NFC-enabled retail POS locations with up to 20 payment and loyalty cards, thanks to FitPay’s payment platform. Currently available for pre-order on Indiegogo, Bee is expected to begin shipping in Februrary 2018.

“Bee is built for the future payment infrastructure,” said Rajeshwar Mitra, co-founder and CEO of Radiius. “We partnered with FitPay to quickly gain access to the payment ecosystem, reduce our time to market and focus our expertise on a more convenient user experience and smarter way to manage finances.”

Banking on a Digital Wallet Program
Of course, FitPay’s reach extends to banks as well. Its recent agreement with Bank of America means the financial institution will participate in FitPay’s Digital Wallet Program, extending contactless payment capabilities to a range of new devices. The effort allows Bank of America customers to use their credit or debit cards to make secure contactless payments directly from their wearables that are integrated with FitPay’s payment platform at NFC-enabled POS locations and more than 9,000 Bank of America ATMs.

“As digital payments evolve, our goal is to give Bank of America customers access to payment options that are easy to use and highly secure,” said Mark Monaco, head of Enterprise Payments at Bank of America. “Working with FitPay will allow our customers to use a range of new contactless payment devices to improve the payment experience, provide a high level of security, and fit seamlessly into any lifestyle.”

Smarts pay off
With wearables and other IoT devices providing dizzying amounts of data and quickly becoming inimitable in their intelligence, the possibilities for smart and seamless payment experiences don’t end with transactions, but extend to applications such as secure building access, network access and biometric authentication.

By focusing on aligning how people pay with how they live, IoT payment devices – the smart ones, anyway – have reached well beyond the smartphone. Whatever mobile payment device users favor, FitPay is helping to ensure the perfect fit.

Kim Kay is the editor-in-chief and associate publisher of IoT Innovator. She can be reached at kim_kay@iotinnovator.com.

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IoT Innovator

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