There’s been some serious press over the past week about the launch of the Bankwest Halo payment ring, a wearable device that can be used exactly the same way as your debit card. It got us thinking about the benefits of such a device and the pros and cons of using one. Now I’ll preface this by saying I personally worked for Bankwest for 7 years, I’m still a Bankwest transactional and card customer and we love Bankwest’s home loan offering here at Entourage, BUT, admittedly we found a couple more cons than pros with this one…

Advantages of having a Bankwest Halo payment ring:

  1. Some years ago, when holidaying with a friend (ironically a fellow Bankwest colleague), there was an unfortunate incident at a Las Vegas pool party where she had her purse stolen with all of her cards inside. Now had she been wearing the Bankwest Halo payment ring, not only could she have continued to dance on a nearby pool podium between trips to the bar for more vodka and soda, she could have also avoided losing her $500 Chanel purse that held said cards. You see, this little baby is waterproof, and for up to 50 metres too! The same can be said for when you head to the beach or the gym or anywhere else outside of the house that involves water.
  2. If you’re one of the 16% of people in Australia who don’t have Smartphone (Source: Australia edition, Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, Jul 2016), this might be quite handy. That is if you don’t want to use the 85mm x 54mm of room that a debit card would take up in your pocket.
  3. If you get all funny about germs, you can be safe in the knowledge you never have to touch anything – the ring’s contactless payment technology lets you just fist bump close to the terminal. And you can wash your hands without taking it off too of course.
  4. Busy parents juggling prams, toddlers and tantrums might love the fact you never have to get your wallet, purse or phone out. Although from what I hear, toddlers can be pretty expensive, so the $100 tap and go limit could be restrictive.

 

Disadvantages of having a Bankwest Halo payment ring:

  1. Look to be honest it’s ugly. As a newly married woman, the last thing I want is some big fat metal thing detracting from my shiny new sparkler.
  2. Hands up if you’re a rewards points junkie? Yah me too. The Bankwest Halo payment ring can only be used with your Bankwest debit card for two of their everyday accounts, not your Bankwest credit card (which might I add for the Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard also has no foreign transaction fees – epic!)
  3. One of Bankwest’s selling points is that there is no ‘app or charging required’. Lol. So, a bit like a debit card then? If you’re advanced enough to be into contactless payments on your phone, I’ll bet you also never, EVER let your phone go flat. It would be like having your arm chopped off.
  4. You have to pay $39 for it. I suppose this guarantees that only serious users will order one, but if you’re passionate about advancing your wearable tech, you need the masses on board.
  5. Sadly, it can’t be re-sized. So if you go on that health kick (or the opposite) and your Bankwest Halo payment ring no longer fits, then you’re in a spot of bother.
  6. If you have misplaced your ring you can place a temporary lock on it through Bankwest Online Banking or the Bankwest App. So, for security reasons you still need your phone with its contactless payment capability nearby anyway!
  7. You can’t keep it near the microwave, or the heater, you shouldn’t drop it, or hit any hard objects wearing it, nor use anything with alcohol in it to clean it…goodness this thing has more rules than a Chess Tournament.
  8. Just like a debit card, it expires. Except they don’t send you a new one a month before it does, you have to call them. Or you could just toss it in the bin.

We hope you found this useful! Whether or not you see the value in the Bankwest Halo payment ring, bravo to Bankwest for thinking progressively – if nothing else it’s certainly got them a lot of free PR and ignited the conversation on how technology continues to progress how our everyday banking works.

We’re also sure this will appeal to some of our customers, so if you do love the concept and are interested in knowing more about Bankwest’s suite of competitive home loans too, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

By Christa Malkin

Image source eftm.com.au.