Recently I caught up with the team behind Kerv, the contactless payment ring. Kerv has taken an innovative approach to contactless payments by creating a product that is both convenient and robust. Consumer interest in Kerv has been huge – the Kickstarter campaign was over-subscribed and preorders have been significant.
Initially I will admit I was a little sceptical; could a ring really deliver a better contactless payment experience than the alternatives? I’ve used the bPay wristband; it works from a payments perspective but it always felt bulky and uncomfortable. I’m a big fan of Apple Pay but the Kerv ring use case is different to Apple Pay. For example, I’ve never found using Apple Pay on the tube convenient. Trying to use an iPhone or Apple Watch to pay at peak times is awkward and I don’t want to risk bashing them in the rush to get through the barriers. Using an iPhone in wet or dirty conditions is not something I want to do with a £600 bit of kit.
The unique quality of the Kerv ring is that it’s always ready for payment – no fiddling around with phones or wallets – it’s on your hand. Plus it’s tough, waterproof and never needs charging. You can even go swimming in it! Manufacturing the ring out of zirconia technical ceramic not only gives it strength but delivers a product with a high quality feel to it and I can’t help but be impressed that the Kerv team has incorporated an NFC antenna into something the size of a ring. As part of delivering a smooth consumer experience, Kerv will use a companion app and website for managing the account and viewing transactions.
But Kerv isn’t just about payments. NFC contactless technology has applications beyond payments and the unique form factor of the ring lends itself to exploiting many of these, including door entry security and exchanging personal details. The Kerv website gives a sneak preview of where Kerv is going.
Originally published on Disruptive Views.