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Smart Rings Seen as New Frontier for Cashless Payments


As retailers around the world seek ways to make it easier for consumers to shop seamlessly without touching anything, one company in Japan is betting its technology can rule them all: a smart ring that can act as a wallet and a key.

MTG Co., a Japanese health and beauty company, has started selling the “Evering,” which it envisions as a one-stop digital wallet. The chip-embedded ring, made out of zirconia, the synthetic crystal that’s sometimes used in place of diamonds in jewelry, lets people lock their door as they step out for a run as well as pay for drinks in stores.

MTG earlier this month struck a contract with Visa Inc. for the sale of an initial batch of 3,000 rings in Japan.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made touchless payments a much more popular method of purchasing. Inc. is pushing into cashier-less stores and deploying technology that lets consumers enter shops and pay using palm scans. In Japan, Signpost Corp. has deployed stores that don’t have any clerks or registers in a kiosk on the platforms of a train stations. In China, technology that employs facial recognition software is already being used for payments.

“We want to make a world in which people can live with a ring,” Yoshihito Ohta, MTG’s chairman, said in an interview.



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