Between cash, cards and tap to pay on our phones and watches, there are lots of ways to pay these days.
But put a ring on it?
A digital bank named Quontic has a “payment ring” you can wear on your finger that lets you tap to pay.
It puts a tiny contactless debit Mastercard at your fingertips.
I took the ring to a nearby farmer’s market to see what the reaction would be, and if it works in tap to pay transactions.
Vendors and others attending the market were wowed. No one had ever seen a ring like this.
The fashionable ring looks like any other sleek black ring, but it hides a tiny wireless chip inside, like the chip you would find in a tap to pay debit or credit card.
The ring is linked to a Quontic Bank account, which requires a $100 deposit to get started.
There is no need to charge it.
“With a ring, you have all the convenience of contactless, but you don’t have to pull out your phone you don’t have to double click, scan your face, pull it out of your pocket and you just tap and pay, and it has all of the security of any other contactless payment method,” explained Quontic bank founder and CEO Steven Schnall over Zoom.
I tried the ring at a coffee stand, and it worked like a charm. There is a certain downward fist motion you need to do to get the ring to work, but it’s easy enough to get the hang of.
Next, we hit up a fruit stand and attempted to buy a basket of strawberries.
Tried as we might, the tap to pay card reader rejected our payment ring. It kept giving us an error message as if it didn’t recognize that it was a proper form of payment.
Deflated, we went to another stand to buy an avocado and the payment ring once again worked like a charm.
You might be wondering what happens if you lose the ring. Yes, someone could potentially use it to make purchases if they know what it is (there is a Mastercard logo etched on the inside) but you can turn it off instantly using an app. Quontic tells me that there is also Mastercard protection against fraudulent purchases.
Is it easier than tap to pay on a phone, card or watch? I’d say it’s simpler than taking out your phone or card to tap, but about as easy as a watch since both are always on you.
It’s unique and different, which makes it cool. You’re sure to raise eyebrows every time you use it.
And yes, the payment ring does have an expiration date.