The convergence of two trends – the worldwide growth in wearable technology, and a marked shift toward contactless payments – is setting the stage for an explosion in payment objects, the next frontier in convenient payment technology.

Consumers are seeking the same frictionless, convenient retail buying experience they enjoy online in traditional, brick-and-mortar settings. According to a 2017 survey, 83 percent of consumers said they would use a connected device to enable a more seamless buying and paying experience.

Such a thirst for convenience has turbo-charged the global growth of wearables, which analysts estimate is worth as much as $25 billion. As consumers cozy up to devices like fitness trackers and smartwatches, their willingness to utilize them for multiple applications – including payments – will only increase, following a similar trajectory to that of smartphones. A wearable falls under the definition of payment object if it contains technology, such as a chip and antenna, app or data that allows it to be used for paying for goods or services.

At the same time, consumers’ increasing acceptance of contactless payment technology will open the door for new payment form factors. The global value of contactless transactions is projected to reach $1.3 trillion in 2019, and will account for 30 percent of in-store purchases by 2020.

The fitness sector presents a compelling use case for payment objects. According to a 2017 survey, nearly half of consumers wished to make a purchase before or after exercising but were unable to do so because they were not carrying a form of payment. The same survey found that 60 percent of consumers, including 80 percent of millennials were interested in using a contactless or wearable device for payment during exercise.

CPI Card Group’s own research confirms these trends. According to a November 2018 CPI survey of over 500 debit and credit card users, 72 percent like the idea of tapping their cards, and 65 percent find the idea of tapping an “object” appealing*. As providers continue to design payment objects to work in tandem with – or as an extension to – mobile device apps, the popularity of paying with a tap or wave will translate into a growing appetite for paying via smart watch, sticker, bracelet or key fob.

Bottom-line, issuers can meet their cardholders’ growing desire for convenience by offering a differentiated product and heightened brand awareness in the form of a unique payment object.

To learn more about CPI’s contactless and payment object solutions, visit us at:




* CPI Card Group quantitative study of 529 debit and credit card users between 18 and 65 years of age, November 1-2, 2018.

Jack Jania

Written by: Jack Jania, VP of Product Management and Innovation for Secure Cards at CPI Card Group.


60%of consumers

80%of millennials

would like a contactless or wearable device for payment during exercise.