Visa and University of Technology Sydney partner on future of wearable technology


With connected devices on the rise, Visa and UTS challenge students to imagine what’s next after mobile payments

Sydney – Global payments technology company Visa and University of Technology Sydney (UTS) today announced a new partnership to explore the future of wearable technology. The partnership, Visa’s first with an Australian university, began with a design workshop on 9 and 10 May in Sydney. Forty UTS students from the UTS: Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (BCII) were challenged to imagine new ways Australians could pay in the future as wearables and connected devices transform everyday life.

Australians are enthusiastic about wearable technology, according to new Visa research released today:

• 32% would be interested in paying with a smart watch;
• 29% with a smart ring;
• 26% with smart glasses;
• 26% would be interested in paying with a connected car;
• And a bold 25% of Australians say they are at least slightly interested at the prospect of having a chip implanted in their skin that could be used for payments. 

“Australians are among the world’s earliest adopters of new technology,” said George Lawson, Head of Emerging Products and Innovation for Visa in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. “In a changing industry, it’s important we hear from the next generation of thinkers about what payments could look like, not just in the near future but in a world where our devices are capable of even more than they are today.”

With smart watches and other connected devices already becoming readily available in the market, there are vast possibilities for the future.

“New technology like tokenisation makes it possible to turn any device into a secure vehicle for commerce. We’re already seeing smartphone payments take off in Australia. Partnering with UTS gives us the opportunity to explore what our next device might be,” said Lawson.

Course Director for UTS: Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (BCII) Dr. Bem Le Hunte said collaborations such as this with major industry partners are essential to give students real, practical experience in generating creative and effective solutions in a wide range of business settings.

“New technologies are driving the rapid pace of change in most sectors and this calls for new kinds of creative and adaptable thinking,” Dr. Le Hunte said.

UTS’s Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation anticipates a future characterised by increasing change and demands graduates experiment with novel methods from across the disciplines.

"Visa is investing in the future by investing in the people who will fuel it – our students. There’s no reason why brilliant ideas cannot incubate in the academy as well as in our industries,” Bem said.

Visa’s focus is driving the future of digital payments in Australia with investments in new layers of payments security like tokenisation and services like Visa Checkout which makes it easier to pay online and across multiple devices.

Find out more: Visa and UTS design workshop video recap:


About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 56,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information visit and @VisaNewsAU.

About University of Technology Sydney 

UTS is a dynamic and innovative university in central Sydney. One of Australia’s leading universities of technology, UTS has a distinct model of learning, strong research performance and a leading reputation for engagement with industry and the professions.

UTS offers over 130 undergraduate and 210 postgraduate courses across traditional and emerging disciplines such as architecture, built environment, business, communication, design, education, engineering, information technology, international studies, law, midwifery, nursing, pharmacy and science.

UTS is Australia’s top ranked university in the Times Higher Education 100 universities under 50. The university is also in the prestigious group of top 250 ranked universities in the world.

For more information visit and @utsnewsroom

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