Mastercard, Thales and Tappy explain how watch and wearable brands can add support for payments

Tappy Wearable Payment Summit 2020
ONLINE CONFERENCE: Expert panel discusses how card credentials can be securely added to wearables

KNOWLEDGE CENTRE: The opening session of the Wearable Payment Summit 2020, NFCW’s first online conference, is now available to watch free of charge in our Knowledge Centre.

NFCW’s editor, Sarah Clark, is joined for this opening panel discussion by:

  • Wayne Leung, CEO of wearable payment innovator Tappy Technologies, in Canada
  • Vijin Venugopalan, head of Mastercard Engage and MDES tokenization for the Asia Pacific region, in Singapore
  • Valerie Gleize, product manager for wearable payments at Thales, in France

The three companies are working in partnership to enable Mastercard customers in the Asia Pacific region to easily and securely add their choice of payment card to any of a wide range of analog wearables, such as watches, the panellists explain during the session.


For card issuers that are already connected to Mastercard’s MDES tokenization platform, offering the capability to their cardholders will be straightforward, Venugopalan says.

“We have worked with 200 card issuers in Asia Pacific and more than 2,000 worldwide,” he explains.

“Technically, if the bank is already enrolled on our platform, they are ready to be added.”

The process is also straightforward for watch brands, Tappy’s Leung adds.

Tappy’s technology enables brands to neatly fit a secure, batteryless payments module into a watch strap or band and then provide the buyer with both a white label wallet and the ability to link their preferred, tokenized payment card to their new wearable.

They can then make secure payments at any contactless terminal anywhere in the world, Leung explains.

Thales, meanwhile, provides Tappy with payment tags that contain a bank-grade chip and a communication antenna which are specifically designed to meet wearable brands’ small, thin and flexible form factor requirements, Gleize says.

“Technically, everything is in place,” Leung adds, and Tappy will be going live with Timex Group, one of its largest partners, “in the next few months”.

Expert insights

During the session, each panellist also shares their insights into the current status of the market, and the demand they are seeing from issuers, brands and consumers, and explores how soon we can expect wearable payments to achieve mass market adoption.

They also discuss the future of wearables, explaining how they see the market in five years time, how widely wearable payments will be adopted and the technical developments that can be expected to be seen.

The full panel discussion is available for readers to watch free of charge in the NFCW Knowledge Centre.

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