Fitbit targets mobile payments to keep Apple and Google off your wrist

Next year’s Fitbit fitness trackers are likely to include the ability to make mobile payments.

The fitness tracking giant has announced the purchase of a large portion of Coin, a start-up offering ‘advanced payment solutions’ via NFC technology.

While Fitbit says the Coin tech will not be built into 2016 releases, a press release says it could (read: will) be embedded into future devices.

The move into mobile payments, hinted at by CEO James Park in an interview with the New York Times last month, could be key to fending off the challenge from Android Wear and Apple watchOS devices.

Although smartwatches are yet to completely prove their worth to most consumers, the ability to make payments by placing the wrist next to a contactless terminal is a great incentive.

Fitbit’s purchase of Coin means the company is unlikely to be left behind in this field.

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Park says (via Engadget): “We are focused on making wearable devices that motivate people to reach their health and fitness goals, and that also make their lives easier with the smart features they need most.

“Coin has been one of the key innovators in advanced payment solutions. The inclusion of their payment technology into our offerings will further our strategy of making Fitbit products an indispensable part of people’s lives.”

Would mobile payments within a Fitbit tracker keep you from snapping up an Apple Watch? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The new deal incorporates all of Coin’s wearable payment assets, but not the smart payment products, such as Coin 2.0.