Contactless Payment Platform FitPay Gears Up for Next Growth Phase

EXCLUSIVE – When the co-founders of FitPay, a contactless payment technology provider, agreed to be acquired by security tech company NXT-ID back in May, the primary goal behind the deal was to enable growth for the San Francisco-based startup. And grow it did.

FitPay is a technology platform that adds contactless payment capabilities to wearable and IoT devices.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the company has been in the news quite a bit in the past two weeks. First, because of its collaboration with wearable manufacture Garmin International’s latest wearable, Vivoactive 3, which lets users make payments with the device.

Secondly, it might be familiar due to its collaboration with Bank of America, in which FitPay will enable the bank’s card users to make contactless payments using their wearables at NFC-enabled point of sale (POS) locations and over 9,000 BofA’s ATMs.

Currently, FitPay, which specializes in enabling contact payments on wearables, has 15 OEMs that they are working with to power payments products, Michael Orlando, Co-founder and President of FitPay and COO of NXT-ID told Bank Innovation.

Orlando declined to disclose specific names.

But aside from these partnership announcements, which are coming up in the next few months according to Orlando, FitPay is also looking to charter new international territories.

“The largest market for (contactless) payments is Australia, they have almost 90% retail transactions and are very forward thinking. That’s a market we are really excited about,” Orlando said. “Working with issuing banks there and launching our capabilities there is something we are excited for.”

The U.K. in Europe, and China and Taiwan in Asia are other markets the company is looking at.

“The goal from day one was to bring a frictionless payment experience and drive an advancement of digital payment beyond the smartphone,” Orlando said.

In other words – wearables. This market is certainly ripe with opportunities. FitPay is on the prowl for those opportunities with a dual growth strategy, focusing on finding both banks and manufactures simultaneously, according to Orlando.

In fact, the company is currently in talks with “a lot of big banks,” Orlando said. He declined to provide specific names.

“We saw the opportunity for wearables early on,” he said. “What’s happening in the market now is the device is becoming more intelligent and therefore more useful for customers. You [have] devices providing tons of data, and that’s going to continue not just in form of smart watches, but in other fashion forward and utility devices too.”

The goal is to move beyond the payment experience and venture into other applications like secure building access and network access, he said.

Biometric authentication is another area for potential growth.

“Voice authentication is the next phase of the market,” Orlando said.

FitPay was acquired by  NXT-ID Inc in May this year for an undisclosed amount. NXT-ID trades on Nasdaq under the symbol NXTD and has a market capitalization of $35.5 million.

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