While nearly 9 million Apple Watches had been shipped by the end of 2015, these numbers were dwarfed by NFC-capable iPhones. As a result, wearables as a whole would not account for more than 2 percent of non-card contactless payments by value in 2018.
Wearable devices preloaded with credit, such as Barclaycard’s bPay range represented security risk than those linked to credit or debit cards and protected by a secure element, said Juniper Research on Monday.
Several vendors are following in the footsteps of Apple and embedding secure elements within the smartphone.
Though Samsung is the only other OEM to launch an own-brand contactless payment service, Xiaomi has filed patents for such a service, while both ZTE and Lenovo have begun rolling out eSEs (embedded secure elements) in selected handsets.
“Most operator-led pilots and commercial ventures have now closed down. Apple’s entry into NFC gave the industry a much needed boost, and could well be seen as the tipping point for the technology, but at the same time it sounded the death knell for the mobile operator projects,” said Nitin Bhas of Juniper Research.