A first in Belgium...

A thousand customers set to trial contactless wearable payments

  • A thousand KBC customers will be the first people in Belgium to try out making contactless payments with wearables.
  • Wearables are fashion accessories that use the same NFC (Near Field Communication) technology as contactless payment cards, except the chip behind it all is built into a ring, watch, bracelet, key ring or other accessory instead of a plastic card.
  • KBC customers were already the first in Belgium to be able to make contactless debit card payments (launched in 2015).
  • The trial runs from 1 December 2018 until 31 December 2019 and aims to help us learn how our customers experience wearable payments. Feedback from testers will be crucial for further developing and launching this new way to pay.
  • KBC customers wishing to participate in the trial have until 18 November this year to apply. For practical reasons, only KBC customers can take part in the trial. Once we’ve launched this new method of payment commercially, all of the CBC and KBC Brussels customers will also be able to pay using wearables.
  • KBC will select a group of 1 000 participants from the customers who sign up for the trial and give them a wearable of their choice free of charge at one of the events organised in Flanders. The selected customers will also be given the necessary guidance to get started with this new way to pay.

KBC customers were already the first in Belgium to be able to make contactless debit card payments (launched in 2015). Today, almost 85% of the debit cards are contactless cards. All of the latest credit and prepaid cards are also contactless ready as standard. Over 90% of payment terminals in Belgium are equipped with the required contactless payment technology (see logo hereby).

KBC is seeing a steady growth in the number of contactless payments made in Belgium, which quadrupled between September 2017 and September 2018.

Contactless 2.0. and using wearables

KBC is running this trial in association with Mastercard. KBC’s customers will be able to make fully secure wearable payments anywhere they see the Maestro sign. All they have to do is hold their wearable close to contactless payment terminals to make PINless payments of up to 25 euros. They’ll still need to enter their PIN for larger amounts, just like with contactless card payments.

If testers lose their wearable or it’s stolen, they can block it using the app they’ll be given as part of the trial or by having the linked payment card blocked by Card Stop.


Karin Van Hoecke, KBC’s general manager for digital transformation: ‘We aim to fully respond to our customers’ demand for user-friendly services, including their everyday payments. Contactless payments are no longer limited to payment cards and smartphones. Our recent launch of Garmin Pay on 23 October focused on customers who lead an active life. This trial is all about personal banking. Contactless payments by wearable is an innovative way to pay that we’d like to explore with our customers. How do they experience it? How do they feel about being able to pay for smaller purchases in shops or lunch in a restaurant with their ring, bracelet or key ring? We can’t wait for their feedback! We see wearables as another way to pay, rather than a replacement for other existing payment methods. Our customers will ultimately decide which method they prefer from the broad and most user-friendly choice we want to give them.


Signing up

KBC customers who would like to take part in the trial can sign up here (page only in Dutch).

How it works

  • KBC customers have until 18 November to sign up.
  • The 1 000 testers can pick up and activate their wearable at one of the events we’re organising in December in Ghent, Antwerp and Leuven.
  • Wearables that customers receive at these events will be linked to their debit card and they’ll be asked to do an initial test transaction to check if the wearable works properly.
  • Participating customers will be kept informed about the trial’s progress and occasionally asked for feedback, which we’ll pass on to all participants using special trial progress newsletters.
About KBC Group

In case of doubt or discussion about the content of these press releases, the version published on https://www.kbc.com/en/press-releases counts as the only reference.

KBC Group
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B - 1080 Brussels