The company unveiled a payment-enabled sunglasses prototype at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin and simultaneously at the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro surf competitions in Gold Coast, Australia.
The pair of sunglasses are almost identical to their non-tech counterpart, save for a tiny chip on its side. To pay, a person takes off the glasses and taps them on a Visa near field communication (NFC) enabled terminal. No card swiping required.
Fifty lucky Visa partners and influencers were handed the Visa payment sunglasses, which are sunglasses with a built-in NFC chip, connected to a re-loadable, pre-paid card. The prototypes can be used on virtually any contactless payment reader.
There's no need for battery power in the sunglasses, the NFC chip is passive and draws power from the reader.
There is nothing that will stop someone from using the payment sunglasses if they are stolen or lost. You would have to contact the credit card issuer and cancel that card.
While the glasses aren't available to the public yet, Visa is testing to see if there is a demand for them and if brands or banks want to sponsor the product.
Visa has experimented with other wearable ways to pay, including payment-enabled rings and wristbands.
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