Report: Jawbone and AmEx to announce mobile payments alliance

Jawbone is reportedly preparing to announce a partnership with American Express, which would allow owners of its next-generation fitness trackers to make mobile payments.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the company will place an NFC chip in forthcoming releases, enabling payments at brick and mortar vendors carrying contactless terminals.

Presumably, Jawbone users could add their American Express card details using the companion mobile app or website and then make payments by holding the wearable device close to the reader, a la other mobile solutions.

Whether the company plans to extend the scheme to include Visa and MasterCard owners remains to be seen, the WSJ reports.

Adding mobile payments functionality would give Jawbone the opportunity to claw back ground on the multi-functional devices like the Apple Watch, which are muscling in on the fitness tracking wearable sector.

Related: Apple Pay: A guide to mobile payments on the Apple Watch and iPhone 6

The agreement, which will be formally announced this week, according to the report, comes too late for the long-delayed Jawbone UP3 wristband, which will finally begin shipping this month.

Jawbone endured a rough ride in the last few months as it sought to overcome manufacturing issues that has caused UP3 shipments to be delayed by four months. The firm eventually abandoned the hopes of making the UP3 a fully waterproof wearable suitable for swimming and settled for the ’splash proof’ guarantee available on earlier devices.

Would the addition of mobile payments encourage you to stick with fitness trackers rather than opt for an Apple Watch and Apple Pay? Let us know your thoughts below.

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