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19th July 2011

VITAband wristband - the future of contactless payment?

Following recent testing U.S. Bank is ready to go live with the offering of a VITAband from MasterCard. The wristbank offers MasterCard PayPass contactless payment and also combines emergency contact and medical information.


U.S. Bank is partnering with MasterCard Worldwide, Vita Products, Inc., Oberthur Technologies and FIS to provide this product and service that combines advanced financial management and universal health record technology.


"U.S. Bank MasterCard PayPass VITAband is great for sports enthusiasts or people who are on-the-go and don't want the hassle of carrying cash and identification. It provides contactless payment functionality, along with access to emergency contact and medical information, all in one convenient wristband," said Beth Blaisdell, senior vice president for U.S. Bank Payment Services. "Listening to and understanding the financial and personal needs of our customers inspire us to offer unique and powerful new products like the VITAband."

Issued by U.S. Bank, the MasterCard PayPass VITAband contains a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) payment chip, which enables contactless purchases. Customers can load and reload funds onto the chip as needed via an online user account. Each band also carries a VITAnumber, a unique, eight digit numeric identifier that links the wearer to a customizable Emergency Response Profile, which houses the individual's identity and critical medical information. First responders can access the profile in the event of an emergency. With a VITAband, customers benefit from both convenience and peace of mind.

Customers must pay $40 for the VITAband. The wristband would seem the logical development of contactless technology offering ease of use over either a card or waving a mobile phone. It is likely contactless technology will be integrated in other wearable items in future such as watches, rings, jewellery and clothes.