Gemalto has entered an agreement to provide payment-capable wristbands that will allow tap-and-ride capabilities and fitness readings for transit riders in Wuhan, China.

For an upcoming pilot, the Amsterdam-based security technology provider will preload wristbands with the Wuhan transportation hub's application to allow users to pay for bus and train fares by tapping the wristband against Near Field Communication readers at the station. Gemalto embeds its Optelio contactless chip in the wristbands.

During the pilot commuters must use a smartphone application and a linked transit card to manage their accounts, Gemalto stated in a July 9 press release.

Gemalto has been providing contactless transport cards to Wuhan, a major transportation hub and one of the most populous cities in central China with 11 million people, for more than three years. Thirteen million cards are already in circulation, Gemalto said.

The wristband will also include a fitness tracker for commuters to monitor walking or running distances and other health readings.

Late last year, Gemalto began working with Caixa Bank in Spain to launch a contactless EMV wristband for bank customers, utilizing its Optelio chip in a mini-tag inserted into a slot on the wristband.

"China's wearable device market is expected to exceed 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) this year," Suzanne Tong-Li, president for Greater China and Korea at Gemalto, said in the release. "With extensive experience in contactless deployments, both in transport and payment domains, we can offer innovative wearables that contribute to Wuhan's vision to become a world-class transportation hub."

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