November 23, 2008 Approximately 1.1 billion watches are produced annually and around three billion credit cards are issued, which makes the LAKS Smart Transaction Watch look like a significant market opportunity given that it combines both. Laks is one of the most innovative producers of wrist-worn gadgetry in the world, with specialty watches that track the phases of the moon, play Mp3s and even monitor fertility cycles to aid women in getting pregnant, so the ingenuity of putting a smart card into a wristwatch to readily facilitate contactless payments was probably a no brainer for them. Perhaps one day we'll all be wearing these things, though our money is on the mobile phone being the logical long-term winner as the platform for contactless payments.
Laks began making Smart Transaction Watches several years ago and the second iteration of its contactless payment system is now available in the United States via secure transaction specialist Abnote. Unlike smart transaction cards which are carried, the LAKS Smart Transaction Watch is worn, and the watch can be issued with a traditional companion card linked to the existing cardholder account, providing the option of using either the watch or card for payment.
“ABnote is excited to work with LAKS to give card issuers the opportunity to provide their customers the convenience to pay with this familiar yet unique form factor. This collaboration represents another example of ABnote’s effort to bring the most innovative game-changing products and services to our customers”, says Tim Wright, ABnote’s VP of Product Marketing.
For card issuers, the ABnote-LAKS Smart Watch will provide a “top of the wallet effect”, driving users to utilize their payment account much more often than with a card alone. Contactless enabled payment has been shown to cause cards that were less used or even dormant to become the most frequently used when contactless payment capability was added.
“In addition to showing you the time, the ABnote-LAKS Smart Watch is an extremely quick, convenient, stylish and exciting way for users to process payments. The time has come for more convenient payment methods and with this smart watch, time is now truly money”, says Lucas Scheybal CEO of LAKS GmbH, “With American Banknote, we have a strong and innovative partner for the launch of the LAKS Smart Transaction Watch in the USA and Canada. We are very proud to work together with a company of the quality, experience and innovation of ABnote.”
The watch face can be customized with a variety of colors and graphics providing users with a highly personalized and unique product. The customization provides unlimited opportunities to market the Smart Watch to brands compelling to users-- including sports teams, motor racing, fast food, gyms, bands, beverages, sportswear, designer names and more.
The ABnote-LAKS Smart Watch is designed for contactless transactions and leverages LAKS patented technology. The watch features a slide in system for a SIM sized Smart Card supplied by ABnote. This new cutting edge system makes it possible to handle the watch and the Smart Card separately allowing for a number of benefits to both issuer and user.
Multi applications can be utilized so that financial applications can be alongside others such as Mass Transit or Access Control. In essence, the Smart Watch puts a smart card into the watch and taps the combined market opportunity for both the watch and smart card industries.
LAKS has over 20 years experience manufacturing high quality watches and leads the world in the incorporation of new technologies into watches. In 2006 LAKS launched the first MasterCard® PayPass™ approved watch, which has been successfully deployed by banks around the world. LAKS Smart Transaction Watch 2 provides a wide range of benefits and advances in technology to both card issuer and card holder and is now available through Laks in Europe or Abnote in the United States and Canada.