It was years ago that NXT-ID (NXTD) was nose down developing a cutting-edge consumer electronic device that consolidated credit, debit and loyalty cards into one, secure “smart wallet.” The product was actually a little ahead of its time and struggled to gain traction, but it set the stage to give the Melbourne, Florida based company a foothold as a manufacturer of next generation payment solutions that are now becoming mainstream.
With that experience in tow, the acquisition of FitPay in May and partnerships with Visa (V), MasterCard (MA), and Garmin (GRMN), NXT-ID is now a full-fledged provider of payment, credential management and authentication platform services and is cementing itself in the smart payment space.
On Sept. 19, NXT-ID’s Fit Pay said that it is now partnered with fintech company Radiius, providing its eponymous payment platform for Radiius’s Bee, the smallest most secure biometric Near Field Contact (NFC) payment solution that can store up to 20 cards (i.e. payment, loyalty, membership, access, transit) while measuring only 24mm in diameter and 8mm and weighing about half an ounce.
A user’s information is protected by the latest security utilizing payment tokenization, multi-level encryption and fingerprint authorization. Tokenization is integral to the latest security technology, replacing cardholders’ account information with a “token,” an encrypted user-specific identifier. This means that a user’s card information is not shared at the point of sale where most major security breaches have occurred, greatly reducing the potential for theft and fraud. In a world where hacking is in the news constantly, it is this type of security technology NXT-ID is utilizing that is commanding market attention and drawing in partners for the NXT-ID payment systems.
Fit Pay leverages embedded Secure Element (eSE) chip technology, essentially a vault for information only accessible to authorized applications. Moreover, Fit Pay’s eSE solution has a small physical footprint and consumes very little power and memory. This makes it ideal for wearable and IoT devices like Bee and other Fit Pay customers like Garmin and Token. It also removes the need to refresh a token after it is provisioned, meaning the device can remain untethered from a host device or connected to the Internet to make transactions – users can literally leave their mobile phone at home and still make payments. The latest quirk with the Apple (AAPL)Watch with respect to connectivity earned the ire of analysts immediately after launch, speaking volumes about the value of Fit Pay’s technology.
The Radiius digital wallet comes with BeeHive, an application that serves as a hub for users to manage cards, view graphics to monitor their spending habits, as well as locate the best deals in nearby stores. Radiius recently launched an Indiegogo campaign for the biometric payment key fob looking to raise $25,000. With 21 days remaining in the campaign, 41% of the goal has already been committed, suggesting consumers are immediately interested in the new wearable device.
“Bee is an awesome expression of the evolution of IoT payment devices and making how people pay fit more seamlessly into how they live,” said Michael Orlando, President of Fit Pay, and COO of NXT-ID.
Explaining that Bee is the evolution of payment devices utilizing the Internet of Things to seamlessly integrate into consumer’s lives, Orlando added, “Bee’s sleek form factor and security features will create a new buzz in mobile payments. It’s no longer just about the smartphone.”
NXTD CEO, Gino Pereira, sees the world shifting towards more and more towards NFC payments and that is where his company is aligning as a leader is secure authentication to squash fraudulent transactions. He envisions one day not even pulling out a phone to pay for a coffee at a drive thru, with a device on the car making the transaction with no action required by the user except to grab the coffee and go.
It is this type of forward thinking and expertise in encryption, IoT and miniaturization that has helped the upstart company turn the corner in June following the Fit Pay merger and start an uptrend, with shares more than double from their June low at $1.21 to a high this month of $2.80.