FitPay's alternative approach to wearable payments has gotten a boost from Comerica Bank and RocketSpace, which have chosen FitPay as the winner of the Wearable FinTech Startup Challenge.
As a reward for winning the contest, FitPay will receive a prize of $50,000. The challenge's three judges chose FitPay over a field of finalists, which also included UpDownLeftRight, Amitee, Bridgecrest Medical and Ascenden, following a series of live presentations made at RocketSpace's tech campus in San Francisco.
"We are thrilled to have been selected as the winner of the Comerica RocketSpace Wearable FinTech Challenge from among such innovative startups," FitPay chief executive and co-founder Michael Orlando said in a Dec. 7 news release, adding it would be a "huge step" to bring its payment platform for wearable devices to the market.
FitPay assists wearable manufacturers, consumers, credit card issuers and card network in enabling payments through an all-in-one service. Its software works through a payment-capable bracelet, a common approach among wearable payment developers. But in FitPay's case, the 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 supports Bioynm's Nymi band, which is also being used by MasterCard and RBC.