Fitbit has launched its first general purpose watch, the Ionic, in Australia with a surprising announcement: contactless payment will be available for three of the four major banks in Australia.
Commonwealth Bank, NAB and ANZ accounts will all work with Fitbit Pay when the Ionic is released next month, allowing Australians to just swipe their watch without needing to carry the credit card.
The partnerships with three banks are a coup for Fitbit in the smartwatch battle against Apple Pay – which so far only has ANZ among the Big Four – and Samsung Pay, which has Westpac and ANZ on its books.
This makes ANZ Bank, with former Google Australia boss Maile Carnegie leading its digital banking stream, the only Big Four bank available on all three payment platforms.
Visa Asia-Pacific digital deployment and solutions head Rob Walls said that wearables like Fitbit Ionic would “fundamentally” change the way Australians shop.
“One of the most exciting elements about this device is the way it incorporates biometrics to secure the payments functionality. Users that add a card to Fitbit Ionic will be required to enter a 4-digit passcode which then remains activated for up to 24 hours, or [until] the device is removed from their wrist.
“The payment capability of the device is being enabled, in part, by its owner’s pulse –- an excellent example of truly connected payments.”
The Fitbit Ionic will sell for $449.95 in Australia and also features fitness, heart and sleep monitors, as well as music storage and ability to alert upon phone calls. The US company claims the device has a 5-day battery life.