REVIEW: THE SAMSUNG GEAR S2 AND THE MOBILE PAYMENTS BATTLEFRONT IN THE SMARTWATCH WAR

REVIEW: THE SAMSUNG GEAR S2 AND THE MOBILE PAYMENTS BATTLEFRONT IN THE SMARTWATCH WAR

Digital tick by digital tock, the wirelessly downloaded clockface of the Samsung Gear S2 time travels forward as the smartwatch war rolls onward. . . . The tide of affairs is not measured in yearly or semi-annual analog cycles, as in wars and battles long past. The metrics of the multiple and powerfully rising inbound tidal bores of this war are conveyed in weekly global technology downloads of market changing and often perplexing consumer innovations.

As an embedded reporter temporarily self-assigned to today’s mobile payments battlefront — battlefront # 2 in the smartwatch war that pits the Samsung Gear S2 and Samsung Pay against Apple Watch and Apple Pay and all other comers — I take an emoji moment in the trenches to reflect on how best to convey the newsworthy cacophony of this exceedingly complex consumer electronics and financial technology (a.k.a. fintech) battlefront to the readers back home in America and the world.

Meanwhile, this moment in Samsung Pay and Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch time pales by comparison to the inbound Richter scale seismic pressure waves of angst confronting our nation and our global civilization at large.

Where’s Hall of Fame Yankee catching great, Yogi Berra when we all need his truly icebreaking and immortal malapropisms full of divinely inspired comedic wisdom? As Yogi might have humorously said at this intensely crucial moment in the galactically unique rollout of the great American experiment, ‘When you’ve reached the proverbial apples versus oranges fork in the road, take it. Hey batta batta, hey batta batta, swing.’

I figured if Yogi Berra, the 8th grade educated son of Italian immigrants to America, was more of a paragraph and storytelling man instead of a profoundly sensible, philosophical Yankee English sentence guru, we could string some salient Yogi-isms into a sort of paragraph vignette for this moment, a good plan for philosophically cheering us up in the on-deck circle of life.

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore. The future ain’t what it used to be. We made too many wrong mistakes. Even Napoleon had his Watergate. It’s like déjà vu all over again. He hits from both sides of the plate – He’s amphibious. . . . You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you. Take it with a grin of salt. It’s impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much. You can observe a lot just by watching. . . . If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be. . . . We have deep depth. Pair up in threes. Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical. . . . You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”

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Now I know where I’m goin’ with this, but I just gotta believe that the 13-time World Series winning Yogi Berra absolutely loved that timeless, atom-splicing, 1938 “Who’s On First?” baseball comedy routine of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.

So, yes, I’m gonna dive headfirst for the fly ball now arcing toward deep centerfield in the mobile payments battlefront in the global smartwatch war. It’s time for a beautifully transparent summertime ice-breaker, a Yogi Berra humility pie baseball moment laced with an ode to Abbott and Costello, the 7th inning stretch breather that we all deserve from viral propagating waves of global angst.

Introducing VR Comedians, Bud Encryption and Lou Currency. It’s 1900hrs on Saturday evening, a bit past the clean up and closure time of the mess tent and chow line for several thousand IT development managers, team leads, coders and programmers and comms techies and those haptic engineer dudes and way too few UI and UX designers from dozens of countries, soldiers all, deeply involved in the ongoing global smartwatch war. The chow time lingerers are now joining the early birds in yet another line – wars are always filled with long lines. The new queue is for the once a year USO style entertainment show at the natural grass field amphitheater at the far reaches of the mobile payments battlefield.

Another half hour goes by and I use my backstage pass to peek out the stage curtain just 90 seconds before show time to observe nearly 5,000 techies from 39 different countries wearing virtual reality (VR) headsets donated by the Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive VR, and the Sony Playstation VR teams. They’re all plugged into the many PC’s lined up in each grass field row via extension cords and solar powered military battery packs or connected to the WiFi narrowcast of the show’s VRstream.

It’s an odd site no one has ever seen before. I’m the first human to see an amphitheater audience of nearly 5,000 people who all look like they are either special forces operators with night vision goggles covering 60% of their face or a squadron of prepped scuba divers sans wetsuits.

Straight man Bud Encryption and funny man Lou Currency emerge from behind the virtual reality show curtain and introduce themselves to the eager VR headset crowned audience. Encryption and Currency are about to launch into their circa 2016 “Who’s Paying Who?” comedy sketch routine. Courtesy of Mssrs. Encryption and Currency, I have permission to republish the dialog of their smartwatch mobile payments infotainment routine.

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The Who’s Paying Who? Smartwatch Baseball Sketch

Dressed in vintage 1930s era American baseball uniforms upgraded with the latest intelligent textile wearable tech, cotton twill smart ball caps, and well worn long wearable biokinetic smart stockings, Mssrs. Bud Encryption and Lou Currency discuss in front of an audience of 5,000 some techies the new mobile payments system for smartwatch fitted baseball players in the newly fashioned, 48 team Smartwatch International Baseball League (SiBL).

ENCRYPTION: You know, Lou, after hundreds of millions of fans around the world complained about the elimination of baseball from the 2016 Rio Olympics, professional baseball responded by expanding internationally with the addition of new teams in 18 cities around the world. The players are even allowed to wear smartwatches and wearable tech in practice and in the games so they can perform better as ballplayers and get paid remotely or on the spot, wirelessly, and immediately within seconds. It’s called the Smartwatch International Baseball League, SiBL for short.

Some guys over at www.iwearthetech.com proposed it and it caught on big-time with fans all over the world.

CURRENCY: I didn’t know that. That’s a good thing, right Bud?

ENCRYPTION: Yes and No. A global league for baseball is a great idea, Lou. Smartwatch and wearable tech enhanced performance is good for professional baseball and what makes baseball better is good for the fans. The question for this 48 city international complex of 1,500 players, coaches, managers, trainers, medical staff, umpires, and bat-boys and foul-ball glove-girls is who pays who and how?

CURRENCY: They’re paying the bat-boys and foul-ball glove-girls too?

ENCRYPTION: Yessiree bob.

CURRENCY: Come on. My name is Lou. We’ve known each other for years now, Bud Encryption. We’ve done hundreds of shows together.

ENCRYPTION: Don’t I know it; and so does my doctor when he checks my blood pressure, Lou.

In the new global league, kiddo, the players’ agents and collective bargaining association contractually won player rights for immediate mobile payments to their wrist-worn smartwatches and baseball performance & fitness tracker bands after every practice and every limousine ride to the ballpark, after all pre-game and post-game TrumpCare medical exams, . . . quicktime double payments after all home run batting cage appearances, and immediate remote payments after each pitch of every at bat.

Every player in the league is gonna get wireless mobile payment transactions sent straight to their smartwatch for every field play and every extra inning played. Once they get back to the dugout, the hitters get contractually mandated NFC wireless or EMV tap-to-pay bonus payments within seconds for every hit, more contactless payments immediately after every double, triple, or homer — even smart contract enforced 4x bonus payments immediately transferred by nexgen 5G wireless tech for a grand slam, as well as courtesy Bluetooth Low Energy iBeacon mobile payments for every baseball or glove or shoe or smart wearable jersey they sign for a kid.

And the pitchers’ contracts state they gotta get paid via EMV or NFC funds transfer to the WiFi booster antenna on the pitcher’s mound immediately after every single pitch. It’s crazy, I tell ya!

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The league commissioner and International Board of Baseball Regents at SiBL haven’t yet figured out how to get antiquated fiat paper currency or old fashioned electronic funds transfer into every player’s smartwatch account after each one of these countless baseball pay events. Not enough players have mobile payments tech and apps on their smartwatches and not enough smartwatches have adopted mobile payments tech just yet, but it’s coming on like a freight train, Lou.

CURRENCY: Sounds complicated. You know, Bud, I’m just an amateur boxer and stunt man turned comedian, so I don’t know Sasquehanna from Poughkeepsie about these kinda things. You gotta teach me some, okay?

ENCRYPTION: They even get paid for errors and baseball rules violations.

CURRENCY: Why should they get paid for errors in the field of play and breaking the longstanding and successful rules of baseball, Bud?

ENCRYPTION: Know one really approves of it or knows why, but they started officially permitting it on July 5, 2016 and it’s been goin’ gangbusters ever since. The people of the world look up to American ‘rule of law’ in baseball and they view the United States as a moral leader in global professional sports. So the rest of the world figured if the U.S. pays for errors and breaking the official rules of baseball, then it’s good for the rest of ‘em and SiBL.

Yesssiree bob, players get paid now for breaking the rules and gross errors of judgment and negligent professional athletic action both on the field of play and off. . . . 

CURRENCY: That’s not what we was taught in grammar school or recess stickball back in the day, Bud.

ENCRYPTION: Yessirree lil’ buddy, I know. That part’s not good; and it’s certainly a slippery slope and precipice to carefully walk back from, Lou. Even the umpires and the instant replay committee get paid for making errors and breaking the rules if and when they arbitrarily so decide.

CURRENCY: Bud, what if 92% of all Americans – 295 million people out of 310 million — know the player made errors in an official game and deliberately broke the rules of baseball and the instant replay committee factually determines that the baseball rules were indeed broken and wantonly negligent baseball errors were committed during an official game? What happens then?

ENCRYPTION: The player gets off scot-free, no punishment at all, and the player is allowed to run for Commissioner of the league.

That’s a sidebar matter, Lou.

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We’re comedians doing a baseball gig to teach the crowd a little mobile-payments-on-smartwatches stuff. Besides, everyone agrees that smartwatches in baseball would help to track all errors and broken rules, so that’s a good thing for the game’s integrity once 310 million American baseball fans decide the game’s integrity is super important to their future sporting lives.

Anyway, another challenge is that worldwide free agency has skyrocketed globally and yesterday’s big paydays in baseball are nowadays astronomical. And it’s very difficult to execute the tens of thousands of payment transactions to each player during every baseball season. With 25 players per team, it adds up to hundreds of thousands of transactions for every team during every single baseball season.

It’s a logistical payment and financial accounting nightmare for the team owners.

CURRENCY: Yeh, that’s what I want to find out, how to pay the players. ‘Cuz I wanna own one of those new franchises. I just love baseball, Bud, I l o o o o o o o v e baseball. We’re making great money doing these high profile comedy tours and movies and it’s always been a dream of mine to own a team.

ENCRYPTION: That’s great, Lou, but owning a team and paying all the players from all these different countries within minutes or seconds for every play and every hit is impossible for you and me to handle. We gotta figure out a different, faster, and better way to pay the players.

CURRENCY: That’s what I wanna know, Bud, who’s paying who? And how?

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ENCRYPTION: I already told you, it’s called ‘mobile payments,’ Lou. Market analysis firm, eMarketer says its growing 210% a year in 2016. Berg Insight forecasts a 28% compound annual growth rate for NFC point-of-sale-terminals through 2019 and Statista projects the mobile payments market will process more than 1 trillion dollars of economic activity by 2019. It’s all gonna be humungous, Lou. Sometimes the SiBL commissioner refers to mobile payments as ‘contactless payments.’

CURRENCY: You mean it’s like when you and me was doin’ comedy routines in those burlesque shows in New York City in the ‘30s and we got paid cash on the barrelhead and got real mobile real fast just before the cops busted the joint?

ENCRYPTION: No, Lou. Good try, though. And don’t say “was” for you and me – it’s not proper grammar.

Lemme give ya’ an example. After last season’s Smartwatch International Baseball League (SiBL) Championship Series, they had a SiBL All Star Game extravaganza at the stadium of the new La Paz, Bolivia professional baseball franchise.

It was the Northern Hemisphere All Stars versus the Southern Hemisphere All Stars. Players from all 19 SiBL countries were represented and paid via mobile payments in more than 33 different currencies for their four days of appearances, activities with the fans all over La Paz, and their 3 to 5 innings of game play as an All Star. Just during those four days in Bolivia, each player averaged a total of more than 1,000 separate mobile payment transactions.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

CURRENCY: So Bud, what was the starting lineup of the Northern Hemisphere All Star team?

ENCRYPTION: Well, let’s see. In the infield they have EMV Tap-to-Pay at first base, Potentially at second base, Certainly at shortstop, and BLE iBeacon at third base. The starting pitcher is NFC, which is a strange name, but his Mother’s maiden name was Spanish for Communications and she always dreamed of him playing ball, so she convinced her husband to give him the middle name Field along with his first name Near. Then in the outfield, there’s Promising in left field. They got the Future in center field and Doubtful in right field. Oh, and the catcher’s name is Question. 

CURRENCY: Wait a minute. Why does everyone in the northern infield just go by last names except for their third baseman?

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ENCRYPTION: BLE iBeacon is from the Silicon Valley franchise and he’s a very low-key, low energy wireless techie kinda guy, so his teammates nicknamed him Bluetooth “low energy,” BLE for short. He’s pretty lazy when it comes to smash hit ground balls down the line, but he gets the job done nonetheless, and he’s a high percentage hitter ‘cuz he leans in close on every pitch.

CURRENCY: Who’s the best hitter on the Southern Hemisphere team?

ENCRYPTION: That would be Who on first base.

CURRENCY: I don’t care who’s on first for the Southern team and I don’t even know the answer. I want to know who their best hitter is.

ENCRYPTION: Exactly. That’s what I just told you.

CURRENCY: What are you talking about? You haven’t told me anything yet. Who’s the best hitter for the Southern Hemisphere All Star team?!

ENCRYPTION: Who is.

CURRENCY: Why are you asking me?! I just asked you. Are you nuts?

ENCRYPTION: No, he’s their manager. 

CURRENCY: Who’s their manager?

ENCRYPTION: Good golly Miss Molly, aren’t you listening? It’s Nuts!

CURRENCY: My name ain’t Molly and don’t swear at me. Allz I wanna know is who’s their best hitter and who’s their manager.

ENCRYPTION: Who is . . Nuts?

CURRENCY: I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

CURRENCY: Okay, let me get this straight, Bud. Who gets up to bat for the Southern team and he hits the ball to iBeacon at third base for the Northern team. Beacon nicely gloves it and throws the ball to EMV Tap-to-Pay at first base. . . . Now who gets paid?

ENCRYPTION: Exactly. Even though he didn’t get a hit, he just made a payable plate appearance. He deserves to get paid. He’s actually planning to take his wife and kids to dinner with that money.

CURRENCY: Okay, let’s just suppose for the sake of argument that he is who you say he is, then how does he get paid?

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ENCRYPTION: How is our backup utility infielder. Don’t confuse the matter any further.

I just told you. iBeacon has a great arm and he only knows one way to throw, so he fires a one way only, 160kph fast ball all the way to first base for the out. Sometimes the pitcher, NFC, covers first base if the first baseman is playing deep near the outfield line. The payment transaction happens immediately on who’s smartwatch as he runs past the bag at first.

Who likes to get paid with the Apple Pay mobile payments app. All he has to do is wear his Apple Watch during the game and do the easy peasy ‘wrist-to-pay’ hand maneuver and he gets paid big-time; then he does the wrist-to-pay Apple Watch thingy again to buy things for his wife and kids after the game. Apple Pay leverages EMV and NFC tech. No PIN, signature, or print receipts are needed. Super simple.

They just gotta crank up the number of mobile payment terminals that accept Apple Pay. Apple’s CEO said awhile back, “I think we are in the first inning on [Apple Pay].”

Anyway, Who loves it.

CURRENCY: I don’t know. I don’t even know who’s running to first and I don’t have that app on my smartwatch yet. Who does?

ENCRYPTION: Yes, exactly. Who has the Apple Pay app loaded on his Apple Watch, so he prefers that type of ‘frictionless’ contactless payment via Bluetooth Low Energy iBeacon wireless technology, and if iBeacon is not available, NFC does the trick with a little Apple Pay tokenization involved.

CURRENCY: WHAT THE DOUBLE HECK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, BUD!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

CURRENCY: I’m gonna give you another chance, Bud. Let me try this another way. Humor me.

Just give me the lineup of all the different mobile payment methods preferred by the Nort

hern team ballplayers. If we buy a Northern Hemisphere team, I gotta know how I’m gonna pay my players and keep them happy.

ENCRYPTION: Hmmm, that’s a tall order. Let me think for a moment. . . . 

Well, NFC, their 2.1 meter tall starting pitcher with the 165kph fastball, he’s holding out until he can get paid via Android Pay if and when that’s available on his Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch, which seems quite likely, actually. We just don’t know when yet.

For now, he’s attending the Rio Olympics with his wife and kids and he’s using the new Swatch Bellamy NFC mobile payments enabled standard watch that Swatch developed with Visa. So if Google doesn’t get their act together on Android Pay for smartwatches, he just might keep his Swatch Bellamy.

Over at first for the Northern team, EMV Tap-to-Pay is from the Madrid team. He’s a ballplayer who does not play well in the rain or fog. His joints get real achy and stiff, so he prefers the EMV microtag tap-to-pay technology embedded inside his CaixaBank waterproof wristband. It’s not a smartwatch, but it works good.

CURRENCY: Wait a minute, we can’t make payments to the players in the rain?

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ENCRYPTION: Of course you can, but it’s good to have waterproof wearables technology on board for when the increasing rate and severity of global climate change induced extreme rainstorms and floods delay a game. The SiBL players get paid for rain delays and rainouts too. Besides, their first baseman’s got a bum arm and he’s always forgets and soaks his waterproof wristband when he puts in for arm time in the pitcher’s whirlpool chill-bath.

CURRENCY: Go on. I’m game.

ENCRYPTION: Okay, Lou, the second baseman, Certainly always likes to be near 100% positive that he never suffers identity theft or payment fraud on his mobile payments accounts. So he’s sticking with Samsung Pay’s MST tech they bought from LoopPay. MST stands for “magnetic secure transmission.” Samsung is the only smartphone company using it and he, Certainly is not yet 100% sure when MST will be available for his Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch or even the Gear S3 smartwatch gift his Seoul, South Korean SiBL franchise plans to give him if he gets 300 hits next season. 

Samsung has not been abundantly clear with the global marketplace on when and how Samsung Pay will be available on their smartwatches and at which vendors and what terminals the Gear S2 or Gear S3 can make Samsung Pay mobile payments. So Certainly’s close to Doubtful in the outfield on this issue, at least for the moment.

Meanwhile, he loves the Samsung Pay simulator on their Website, “It’s really slick and easy” and if you’re a newbie to mobile payments on smart devices, then it’s a good place to visit and learn some good stuff, Certainly says. And they got more than 5 million Samsung Pay users in South Korea and the United States in just the first half of 2016. So he’s, Certainly crossing his fingers, ‘cuz he loves him some Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch and he wants to wear it in the games.

CURRENCY: What about their center fielder?

ENCRYPTION: The Future?

CURRENCY: No. I wanna know now, right this instant, not in the future.

ENCRYPTION: He is the Future. He’s interested in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. He’s trying to renegotiate his contract so that he gets paid in Bitcoin on his circa 2017/18 smartwatch. It’s unclear if many IT industry leaders are thinking about developing Bitcoin and Ether enabled smartwatch-based mobile payment systems, but they probably should.

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The Future wants to apply his Bitcoins to fund a new sustainably energy powered Bitcoin mine he and his Russian-Parisian family are setting up. For the time being, he prefers to be paid in Ether. Future is even considering going with this new thing, Plutus’ Tap & Pay Pluton tokens, which combines Bitcoin and Ethereum to enable contactless Bitcoin payments at NFC terminals.

CURRENCY: I thought alcohol and performance enhancing substances were banned in baseball?

ENCRYPTION: LOL, lil’ buddy, Ether is a form of cryptocurrency payment via the Ethereum startup company.

CURRENCY: I don’t get it.

ENCRYPTION: Don’t worry, if we’re able to buy a franchise, Lou, we’ll hire a cryptocurrency miner and financial advisor to deal with the centerfielder Future’s demand for a smartwatch cyber-shot of Ether before and after all his games.

CURRENCY: Who’s your right fielder?

ENCRYPTION: No, he’s not, boy you got a short memory, kiddo. Remember, he’s the best hitter for the Southern team. The Northern team’s right fielder is Doubtful. 

CURRENCY: Jeez, he’s who and who’s he. How do you keep track of all this stuff? How can a player be doubtful if he’s playing? Either he’s playing or he’s doubtful.

ENCRYPTION: I just told you, How is the backup utility infielder. Right field is Doubtful. And don’t get Ether confused with Doubtful. Doubtful does not use Ether in his mobile payments smart contracts.

Doubtful is the Northern team’s only specialist in stealing bases, identity theft, and financial security authentication transactions. He’s a super suspicious dude who never assumes that anyone is telling the truth about authorizing or authenticating any mobile payment. He rubs a lot of his teammates the wrong way ‘cuz he’s always on edge asking for guys to confirm their mobile payment transactions.

CURRENCY: So how does he get paid?

ENCRYPTION: Doubtful only accepts payment via the Starbucks app. He drinks a lot of coffee and he likes their pastries and new evening menu meal items. He only weighs a buck and change when soaking wet in the shower after a game, so he doesn’t eat much anyway. That’s probably why he’s fast enough to average 100 stolen bases a season and prevent tens of thousands of mobile payment thefts each season.

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He just likes the fact that Starbucks has more than 16 million users of the Starbucks mobile payments app in over 7,400 of their US stores. Starbucks is actually one of the early real success stories in mobile payments technology. He, Doubtful thinks that’s pretty reliable and secure. He’s also trying to get paid in Target Mobile Wallet, Kohl’s Mobile Wallet, and Walmart Pay transactions. He’s a multitasking bachelor and outside of baseball he doesn’t get out much beyond those stores. Their manager says he’s even checked out this new thing, WearBucks for Starbucks.

CURRENCY: Is the Starbucks mobile payments app available on Doubtful’s smartwatch?

ENCRYPTION: That’s the Question, but it’s Doubtful. Starbucks, like so many other major companies in the smartwatch mobile payments field has just not made that clear to the global marketplace, yet. For now, Doubtful’s contract states he gets paid via the smartphone in the back pocket of his uniform.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

CURRENCY: You said the Northern team had a left fielder named. With all this stuff floating around in my head, I forgot his name.

ENCRYPTION: That’s Promising.

CURRENCY: Okay, now I know you’re making fun of me.

ENCRYPTION: No I’m not, really. It’s Promising that’s using arguably the world’s most successful mobile payments system, AliPay. 

CURRENCY: Oh, you must mean that American boxer, Muhammad Ali. 
ENCRYPTION: Nice try, kiddo. I’m talking about our left fielder from China. Promising wants to use AliPay, the mobile payments system that 400 million of his fellow citizens in China use. China’s eCommerce giant, Alibaba recently unveiled their Pay Watch, which is a smartwatch focused on mobile payments. They developed it with Chinese wearable fitness company FiiSmart and it’s based on the YunOS operating system and it supports Alibaba’s new AliPay mobile payments system.

All the baseball analysts are saying that the super high growth rate mobile payments market in China will motivate all the SiBL franchises to pay their Chinese players in Yuan via one of the major players in China, likely AliPay for at least the time being.

Anyway, Promising intends to use AliPay on his Pay Watch.

CURRENCY: Holy cow. You got players being paid with Apple Pay and AliPay and Starbucks. You’ve got players that want to accept Samsung Pay and Android Pay, but they don’t know yet if they can do it on their smartwatch during a game. You’ve got players who want to get paid in Target Mobility Wallet, Kohl’s Mobile Wallet, and Walmart Pay.

Could you make this any more confusing for the players?

ENCRYPTION: Sure. I’m always happy to oblige you lil’ buddy. Let’s see . .

Well, . . . there’s a number of veteran players asking to be paid via Microsoft Wallet. It’s currently supported by Bank of America, and four other banks and Chase and Fifth Third and US Bank intend to support it in the future.

CURRENCY: Jeez, now I gotta worry about which banks support each mobile payment system on top of trying to connect the dots on which mobile payment system is available on each smartwatch. 

ENCRYPTION: That’s the world of early 21st century tech innovation, lil’ buddy. Let me continue.

There’s Stripe. There’s Square. There’s Estimote mobile payments stickers that some players want attached to their smartphones and smartwatches in the future.

Then there’s the Giesecke & Devrient China, Z-Smart mobile payments focused smartwatch that’s being supported by three major banks in China. It uses NFC tech, so the pitcher on the Northern team could use that one.

There’s also the BarclayCard bPay Loop, which is a little add-on strap with a chip inside that instantly turns a watch, smartwatch, or fitness tracking band into a contactless payment unit for the user. That’s a pretty nifty lil’ thingamajig that some of the players are evaluating.

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That luxury watchmaker, Kairos, is integrating NFC mobile payments tech into the T-Band smart watch strap of their Kairos Hybrid Mechanical smartwatch. It shows your payment confirmations on the actual side of the watch band. A lot of the players like that design. It’s pretty innovative, a hybrid or a classic mechanical watch + smart watch functions to smooth digital life out a bit. Kinda classy, I say.

There’s a mobile payments module for that really innovative Blocks smartwatch that showed up in a big way on Kickstarter. Our switch hitters like that one, probably because the Blocks smartwatch is sort of a switch-hitter itself.

A Kickstarter group from Poland, uBirds is working on a leather strap that can fit onto a standard watch to add BLE and NFC tech payment capability for users who prefer more conventional mechanical watches.

Swiss luxury watchmaker, Mondaine is adding NFC mobile payments tech to its portfolio of watches. Mobvoi’s Ticwatch in China is adding NFC contactless payments tech too. The Pagaré strap incorporates NFC and tokenization to your watch so you can leave your smartphone and wallet at home and still make payments.

Then there’s LG Pay, but we don’t yet know if it’s available for their LG Watch Urbane 2 and we still don’t know how that will play with the LG Pay White Card.

The CurrentC/MCX mobile wallet tech is from a retailer conglomeration backed system that uses QR Codes and was recently bought by PayPal. It’s supposed to wind up working at 110,000 retail locations such as gas stations and 7-Elevens and Best Buy and such.

LevelUp’s a player. . . . There’s PayPal’s Venmo. Braintree Payments also looks like a significant player. And there’s always FitPay as well.

The Aegis Bitcoin Wallet and OKCash, an open source form of digital cash, and dozens of other cryptocurrencies.  

CURRENCY: Wait a minute, Bud. I’m gettin’ a headache. I need a glass of water and an aspirin.

ENCRYPTION: No problem lil’ buddy. Just wave your NFC mobile payments enabled smartwatch over the microphone to pay for it and the usher will deliver it muy pronto.

CURRENCY: Very funny, Encryption. Hey, lemme see if I got this right.

There’s like a hundred of these mobile payment systems and it seems like dozens of smartwatches and we got this new baseball league where all the players want to play with smartwatches AND get immediately paid, even for going to the restroom and seeing the doc. BUT, it doesn’t seem like the smartwatch industry and the mobile payments industry have gotten their message clearly across to simple guys like me.

How do I know which mobile payments system will work on my SiBL owner’s smartwatch so that I can pay my players, that is if you and I are lucky enough to buy a franchise in this new Smartwatch International Baseball League?

ENCRYPTION: That’s a good question, Currency, and that’s about the size of the situation. You summed it up pretty nicely. It’s confusing.

For now, it seems pretty clear that if you want to pay your players with immediate mobile payments on their smartwatches before, during, and after their payable game performances, Apple Pay on the Apple Watch is the winner, at least temporarily.

Samsung Pay is a threat to win smartwatch Battlefront # 2, but they need to get their act together on making it clear to the global marketplace if and when Samsung Pay will be available on the Gear S2 or even the upcoming Gear S3.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

CURRENCY: Hey, Encryption, I forgot to ask ya’. Who’s the manager for the Northern Hemisphere SiBL team.

ENCRYPTION: Stymied.

CURRENCY: I already told you I got a whompin’ headache from this whirlpool of smartwatch mobile payments technologies. I just wanna know who the manager is.

ENCRYPTION: I just told you. Stymied.

CURRENCY: Oh bruddah, no wonder. . . . I need to get paid more for these routines, Bud.

Gimme some Ether. I’m outta here.
* * * * *

ENCRYPTION & CURRENCY: Thank you very very much, folks. It’s been great entertaining you hard working soldiers in the smartwatch war. Good luck and God Bless you all. . . . And God Bless America.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Samsung Gear 2 which will address the functionality of untethered calls.

To view the first installment click here Samsung Gear 2-Battlefront of the Smartwatch

 


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Today we look beyond the initial fitness tracker, smartwatch, and smart tech jewelry phases of the wearables technology rollout to consumers worldwide.

Pokémon Go Plus Smart Wristband

// Stop the word presses for the one-half billion people on planet earth who have downloaded Pokémon Go, folks. Niantic

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