Encouraging more contactless payment as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, leading radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology company ISBC has announced the intention to launch ISBC Pay, its first flagship Mastercard-certified contactless key fobs for payments. The company has also announced the establishment of its global headquarters in Singapore as part of its regional expansion plans.
ISBC wearables are currently used by over seven million customers worldwide across fintech, transport, and access control applications.
Customers are able to upload their bank cards to the ISBC Pay wearables, providing a more convenient and personalized method for consumers to make contactless payments as an alternative to credit cards or smartphones. The wearables are protected by Mastercard’s security systems, built on the latest NXP microcontroller, and offer consumers data security akin to contactless payments with a physical or virtual bank card, reports ISBC.
ISBC’s expansion into Singapore attests to the country’s digitally-savvy population, where the ratio of cash withdrawals to payments has fallen from 47% in 2016 to 17% in 2020. Furthermore, according to a 2020 report by Visa, 84% of consumers in Singapore use contactless payments, indicating an increased demand for fast, secure, and digitized transactions, which ISBC plans to capitalize on.
Through its hub in Singapore, ISBC aims to connect with market leaders across Southeast Asia, with future plans to expand to Malaysia and Indonesia, and to partner with 50 banks globally by the end of this year. In preparation for future launches, ISBC is also designing prototypes of Singapore-themed key fobs to appeal to the local market.
The key fob was invented in 2015, where it was initially developed for access control, transport ticketing and bonus cards. In 2018, the product was certified by Mastercard and Visa, and rolled out in Europe as a payment wearable. Following that, 2019 saw the launch of pilot projects with banks and banking consumers, and a rebrand of the product to ISBC Key. Significant improvements were made in 2021 and ISBC Key 2 was released to provide greater security and convenience for everyday use.
“The establishment of our headquarters in Singapore underscores the importance of Asia which is seeing rapid growth and innovation in RFID technology. More consumers are embracing revolutionary solutions that are convenient, secure yet trendy all at once, and we look forward to becoming the contactless payment device of choice in Southeast Asia. Partnering with semiconductor market leader NXP and Fidesmo is a huge step in this direction,” says Ivan Demidov, founder and CEO of ISBC.
“Enabling seamless contactless experiences is a key part of our mission at NXP,” said Alasdair Ross, Director of Secure Payment and NFC Infrastructure at NXP Semiconductors. “We’re excited to work with ISBC and Fidesmo on this project that helps ensure secure and convenient contactless payments through new, innovative form factors.”