Bankwest has begun a \u201ctoe in the water trial\u201d of wearable payments tech.\nOver the next 12 weeks around 400 employees of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia division will test the technology out in the field.\n \nThe volunteers have chosen either a key fob, fitness-style wristband or a clip attached to their own watch strap, which they can tap for contactless payments linked to their card.\n \n\u201cWe\u2019re really excited by where this toe in the water trial could take us. We need to continually evolve and adapt to meet the quickly changing needs of our customers,\u201d said Bankwest managing director Rowan Munchenberg.\n \n\u201cOur customers\u2019 lives are so varied and so we need to look at offering a range of payment methods that fit their lifestyles. Students, self-employed, FIFOs, retirees, regional or metro \u2013 there really can\u2019t be a one size fits all approach anymore.\u201d\nThe trial was borne out of one of Bankwest's frequent 'hack days.'\n\u201cThe hack days empower colleagues to let their creative juices flow. It\u2019s so inspiring to see people\u2019s imagination light up and work collaboratively to improve our customers\u2019 experiences with us,\u201d Munchenberg added.\n \n\n Bankwest configuration engineer Minh Dang was part of the team that came up with the concept.\n \n\u201cWhen the idea of these wearables came up at the Hack Day people got really excited. It\u2019s so great to see it now becoming a reality in the trial. There\u2019s not many places where you can see something start at such a small level and then become a reality,\u201d Dang said. \nAs part of the trial, the bank said it will collect data on how people used the technology in conjunction with the contactless feature on their existing cards and digital wallets.\n \n\u201cWe think we\u2019ll see people starting to adapt to whatever comes to hand most easily,\u201d Munchenberg said.\n \n\u201cIf they\u2019re buying petrol and have their keys in their hand they may well pay with their key fob. If they\u2019re out for a run and stop for a drink they could swipe their wristband. The technology is just as secure as in people\u2019s cards \u2013 it\u2019s just in a different form,\u201d he added. \nAlthough there was a view to eventually offer customers wearable payment devices, the bank made no firm commitment to do so.\n \nChip on your shoulder?\nIn March, Westpac said it was running a similar trial with employees, and had plans to release a payments wristband later this year.\n \nIn April, Heritage Bank beat the bigger banks to be the first in Australia to run a customer trial of a wearable payments device that links directly to a transaction account.\n \nForty Heritage customers have now tested the technology, following a successful staff trial earlier in the year. The bank aims to launch the product later this year.\n \nBack in 2014 Heritage released a limited run of 12 contactless payment \u2018Payweave Power Suits\u2019 with a payments chip located in the merino wool blazer sleeve.\n \nVisa has also been putting contactless payments chips in various wearables includinga pair of sunglasses.