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A Microsoft Band 3 with NFC would be a tap-to-pay dream

This is one of those things that seems to line up so nicely that it'd be almost silly for it not to happen. Microsoft's latest Insider version of the Wallet app for Windows 10 Mobile brings with it tap-to-pay support for making NFC payments with your phone and an attached credit card. Or it does in certain locations, at least. But that's always how these things roll out.

But while all this is very exciting, it set the cogs in my head turning. As good as a feature like this is on a phone, it'd be even better on the next Microsoft Band. It would, right?

Apple Pay on Apple Watch

Microsoft wouldn't be the first to do this. The Apple Watch already offers wrist based payments (Android Wear does not) and gives us a decent example to go off. You load your cards via the Wallet app on the iPhone and they sync to your Apple Watch. But you can't just strap on the watch and walk around paying — you have to be wearing it and unlock your phone at least once via Touch ID to authenticate the watch. After that, just double click the Watch's button to activate Apple Pay and hold it to the scanner. If you take off the watch, it locks Apple Pay access until you again unlock your paired iPhone. Your payment data is kept securely on both the iPhone and Apple Watch thanks to a "secure element" that's part of the processor.

It'd be no more difficult for Microsoft to implement a similar system using Windows Hello. The information is stored securely on the phone and the wearable acts as a conduit to pass the information to the NFC reader — or go the Apple route and store the data right on the wearable. If the connection is broken in any way or the device is removed, payments are halted.

There's also a bunch of information already out there on how Microsoft is going to leverage Windows 10 and the Companion Device Framework (CDF). While not specifically detailing payment systems, there are plenty of hints at how it could apply to the Band and mobile payments:

Wear a fitness band that has already authenticated the wearer. Upon approaching PC, and by performing a special gesture (like clapping), the PC unlocks.

Microsoft Tap to Pay

Specifically talking about applications in relation to PCs doesn't exclude Mobile. Windows 10 is now one platform, remember, and it's clear that Microsoft has already been heading in the right direction to make this happen.

On the hardware side of things, there wouldn't need to be anything more than an NFC reader and its associated items. If we're already enabled on our phones, though, I can't see any sensible reason why the Microsoft Band 3 wouldn't have the necessary capability to be used in this way. And for most of us it'd be even more convenient than pulling a phone out of our pockets.

So, I really want this to happen. But what about you? Let us know in the comments below!

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

  • The companion device teamwork seems so cool. I'm wondering though, could you use NFC tap to pay for the band if your phone can't?
  • Unsure. In theory you probably could, since the credit card information doesn't hinge on having NFC. But, more likely if a phone doesn't have NFC would it have Windows Hello? Since something like that would likely be needed to authenticate in the first place.
  • I mean if your phone isn't capable to use tap to pay, like Lumia 640
  • This would be a tap to pay dream for users of iDroid... It's true! If most banks won't support tap/pay on Windows then once again we'd be left out..... AND!! The mainstream banks aren't good enough. We need most banks in America to support Windows, or fail.
  • Your bank just needs to support NFC Tap to Pay and then it will work whether you use Samsung Pay, Android Pay, or Windows Wallet.
  • I was surprised that Band 2 did not include NFC because of this potential.
  • Potential for what? Only the biggest banks to support it, and leaving millions out?
  • Is America seriously that far behind on tap to pay? This works anywhere that has an nfc reader for credit card payments.
  • Why stop there? I want my Band to be able to start my car, unlock my house, pay for stuff etc.
  • Maybe too much, If you loose it then you cannot move, eat, rest, or anything else! That's no even considering your band gets stolen!
  • It's strapped to your wrist, how easy can it be to steal?
  • Ask a watch theif?
  • Are those actually a thing? Do people not notice when someone is grabbing their forearm to try and take their watch?
  • Puts gun to face, I'll have that Rolex please.... That's how a watch thief gets it off your wrist. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android.. But waiting for the HP Elite so I can get rid of this junkie Galaxy S5...
  • Stealing MS Band 2? You will need to cut the wearer's hand to get it.
  • I thought I read that it was coming with Tesla
  • Not sure about starting your car, but there are already NFC door locks. I'm not sure what Microsoft would need to do to get that working on the band though.
  • Buy a Volvo and you can start your car :-)
  • Well, it has to be much more secure to allow this. Think about owner-recognition through bio sensors.
  • a bit far off in the future to open doors etc., but not too distant future. Smart homes already have the features to lock/unlock you doors, garage, set thermostats etc. Cars which allow you to open doors are already there in the market.  So tap-to-pay is a start. I would even go ahead and predict that somewhere in the next 5- 10 years, we might not be carrying any 'mobile phone', as we call them today, at all!. It will all be about wearables: watch, bands etc. These devices in turn will be powerful and smart enough to do all that the phones/PC does today and a lot more.
  • Will be rebranded as Microsoft Solo. If breaking up rumors of Band are true.
  • Just did a google/bing for "MS Solo" nothing came up... I assume a tech rumor would pop up... you should attach a link before you slip further into "ass hat'dness"... any further and you will just be an ass... I did find a great link to David Lee Roth though...
  • You missed his joke. Think musical band and break up.
  • LOL! I missed the joke too Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Finally got it! :-) Good one.
  • Wouldn't that be the Microsoft Yoko?
  • As long as they make band 3 more durable than band 2
  • That is a pretty hefty name :) Pukhtoon? - Posted via W10 app
  • That would be nice
  • make the band water proof with longer battery life would solve most of the problems, my band 1 failed after 1 session on a static bike, garmin devices are water proof problem solved and 2 weeks on one charge
  • The only regular exercise I take is swimming. Making the device waterproof and adding motivational swimming related functionality, as well as distance and lap related information etc would make it an instant buy for me.
  • Same here!
  • YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I got my first Band, that's what I had expected. But I agree, with NFC payments coming to WP10, I would expect that Band3 would integrate this feature. The Starbucks payment is ok, and I use it every time I go, but it would be way more convenient to use it at every retailer.
  • It'd be cheaper than having to buy a new phone (unless/until my 640 LTE gets "approved").
  • Hey, fingerprint reader on Microsoft Band 3 would eliminate having to unlock phone to authenticate payments. Do it Microsoft.
  • Done right you wouldn't do that anyway. You don't on the Apple Watch. The wearable would be authenticated once and revoked should the connection be broken to the phone.
  • Iris reader on the band would be the easiest way to authenticate it? All you'd need to do would be look at the band first and i'm pretty sure you would already be looking at the band when you select the payment card??
  • Only got the Band 2 for about 4 month and it's done. Any idea when the Band 3 coming? Needed it badly.
  • Yes, I also prefer fingerprint reader on Microsoft Band 3
  • It's Microsoft. You know that launching Band 3 with tap to pay only has 50% chance of coming.
  • That is quite optimistic.
  • Been trying to use band 2 for loyalty cards but so far, the grocery scanners at self check outs have tough time reading the screen (line barcodes)  but yes, more payment options via the band is a logical next step.
  • I've used the starbucks card on my band a lot as well as applepay so this would be a dream. The question is if would it be restricted to bands paired to a W10M device or if they'll make it compatible with other platforms. If the setup interface/authentication and all that is self-contained within the health app I don't see why it couldn't be. They could probably even implement each platform's respective biometric system (ie, use hello on windows and touchid on ios)
  • With MS moving away from the consumer segment I don't think this will happen unless they see a way for businesses to use this
  • Yeah I like the idea, but quality control is more important. My band has cracked due to shoddy engineering. So fix that first Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • This would be great and I look forward to all the intergration points the Band can address.  However, can I just get a device where the wrist band/strap doesn't tear?  Two Band 2's since Nov have torn and I'm not not even active.
  • Why would it be a dream? What would be a dream is a product that uses quality hypoallergenic materials along with robust design, and again, quality materials.
  • I would still prefer a smart watch over another band. Or at least a smart watch in addition to the band series.
  • I want 1GB storage for onboard music files with ability to stream to Bluetooth ear buds during runs.
  • A dream or a dream come true! .....
  • That I would buy tomorrow.
  • What's that ugly square thing in the first photo?
  • Lol
  • No, really, what's that? It looks like it came straight from the 90s, and not the good side.
  • Wait are you taking about the apple watch photo?
  • Isn't that the Asus ZenWatch? (which Apple later copied)
  • Ok. Has anybody been pickpocketed before? The dude bumps into you hard enough that you don't feel him grabbing your wallet from your pocket or purse. With this technology I have a feeling that they are going to come up with a way to bump you to initiate an NFC transaction from your wristband. Electronic pickpocketing for the modern age. I know all that stuff can be traced, but hey, we are living in the age of technological marvels, for better and worse. I would be very suspicious of this.
  • They've already done that with cards, so probably
  • tap to pay, is not simply about just tapping. Banks are aware of such thefts/tricks/scams etc. So in order to pay, you will have to first unlock your device, open the app on it, select the card/account and then tap to pay. Even after all of that, I am sure there would be a mechanism to roll back the transaction, in case you have mistakenly done it or were duped and realised soon after (don't forget you will get a message and mail of the transaction from your bank instantly)
  • Not only Tap to Pay would be a dream with it. I would imagine the golf integration could vastly improve tracking with more options.
  • and i wondered why they won't support tap to pay to all phones money solves problems. thanks ms
  • I think band 3 should improve what makes a wearable truly amazing. First make the wrist strap more resistant from tearing or, better, like the apple watch, that you can replace because no wrist, band or strap last forever.
    Second, battery life.
    Then water proof.
    All of these features are already a lot to to work on I think.
    So far i love band 2 but i had to use a tape to cover the tear on one side and soon the other.
  • a tape to cover a tear sounds terrible  Anyway, this article does not suggest that it is the only new feature/development happening on the band. I am sure MS is aware of the basic problems and will be addressing at least some of those. I too would want the band to be sturdy enough to be worn all day for at least an year, have battery power from convetnional wrist-watch cells that do not require any charging and should be good enough for regular swimming or diving activities. Whether or not, it happens with band 3 is unclear, but sooner or later it will
  • Yup
  • Band we need a real smartwatch
  • + infinity
  • Would love to see this happen, but with Microsoft you can never tell where their head is. However, The Band is a consumer device so anything is possible.
  • Microsoft Band 2 allowing us to text without hanging up on "connecting" would be a dream.
  • 9/10 times my Band 2 sits there "Connecting" when I try to reply to an SMS.  Or can't connect when I try to use Cortana.  I can see the situation now: me holding my wrist over a payment terminal, staring lovingly at my 950XL, trying to get Windows Hello to work.  "Just a sec, let me restart Bluetooth and see if that will work".  "Oops, no joy, let me just reboot my phone."  And all this sometime in the far future when the functionality actually becomes available in Australia...  I'm with a comment on a previous page: sticky tape my card to the back of my phone, and pretend I have an Android :-D
  • Back in the pre-phone-NFC days, I had a bank card that gave me a mini card with NFC chip and a sticky back. I stuck it to my phone case and used it exactly like that. Of course, at the time only McDonalds took tap to pay...
  • Classic!  I cut down my tram pass (NFC as well) and had it in the back of my Lumia 1020 case for around 2 years.  What was amazing was the number of people who saw me tap it, and then promptly asked "which iPhone is that?"
  • Yeah, that was me, and yeah why not just tape your bank card to your phone? Right now my bank card works everywhere with no apps required. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android.. But waiting for the HP Elite so I can get rid of this junkie Galaxy S5...
  • That would be awesome. Fresh new features and redesign for the band 3...
  • I would say it MUST be there. After all it makes life so much easier for those who want it. those who don't want it, wont have to do anything other than not activiating it in the first place.
  • But I still long for a Microsoft Smart Watch, with a bigger (square or circular) screen rather than the band with a narrow strip of a screen.
  • Can you do NFC with RFID?
  • That seems like an unessesary amount of steps to pay with the Apple Watch. Swiping your card would be quicker and only involve two steps -- swipe and sign or type in your pin number if it's a debit card. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • here in India, even the credit card transaction require a pin. The days of singning the slip are long gone
  • I think it would be cool if they could integrate a fingerprint scanner right into the watch, then there would be no need to get your phone out.