Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 NFC: how smartband payments work | VIDEO

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Contactless . How many times has it happened to hear or see this word in the everyday life of recent times. Despite its drama, the year of the pandemic has been a sliding door to the digital payments sector, which have taken a leap forward to respond to new needs, regulations and initiatives (such as the State Cashback).

In the two-year period of zeroing of contacts, of any type, the touch free payments have accumulated a significant specific weight in the world and in Europe: confirmation comes from a Visa research, according to which 8 payments out of 10 take place according to this modality. To act as a litmus test of its success is the data that demonstrates the willingness, on the part of users, to maintain this practice even in the post-pandemic era, if possible by increasing the frequency of use (65% of the sample).

In a similar scenario, the evolution of contactless payments has gotten into a double gear: on the one hand, by leveraging cards equipped with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technologies which allows you to carry out transactions without inserting the cards into the reader but only by bringing them closer; on the other hand, by focusing on smartphones and wearable devices, such as smartwatches and smart bands, which instead rely on NFC technology (Near Field Communication), the radiofrequency technology considered a sort of evolution of the former.

The latter, now widespread, is the last frontier of electronic payments and is transforming the devices that support it into real virtual substitutes for wallets. Speed, convenience and even more secure data transfer is the combination that makes payments via smartphones and wearable devices equipped with NFC technology the most advanced option.

NFC: FROM SMARTPHONES TO SMARTBANDS

In in the beginning it was smartphones – but only some – to support payments via NFC thanks to integrated radiofrequency modules capable of communicating with contactless POS. What originally appeared to be an exclusive system, the prerogative of a still limited number of models on the market, in the space of a few years has taken rapid steps forward, covering almost all of the mobile offer available and embracing an ever greater miniaturization of devices capable of incorporating it.

After conquering the smartphone world, NFC technology has also made its appearance on wearable devices , allowing their users to make contactless payments with a very simple gesture: that of bringing their wrist close to an enabled POS terminal. Apart from smartwatches, from the outset better equipped from the point of view of functionality, in recent years to take the direction of progress have been above all the fitness trackers .

These small, practical and essential accessories born with the intent of capturing data and monitoring the movements and actions of those who wear them on the wrist, especially during sports , are making their range of functions even more varied. And with the arrival of NFC technology, at first a distinctive feature of the “big brothers” smartwatches, they have become a valid, more accessible alternative to high-end models.

times, thanks to its exponential growth, the wearable market has welcomed a wave of new brands and models that have diversified the offer by offering consumers more and more choice. Among the undisputed protagonists of this new world we also find Xiaomi which, like other Asian competitors, is was able to carry its Band on the wrist of millions of users, also appreciated by the youngest for the particularly aggressive positioning and the many features available.

MI SMART BAND 6 WITH NFC: COMFORTABLE AND ACCESSIBLE

The Chinese manufacturer has been successfully treading the digital payments scene for years and one year after the European launch of Mi Pay , the digital payments service for smartphones based on NFC technology, has decided to score another blow to further consolidate its role in the sector in the Old Continent.

After a long wait, the Italian aficionados of the brand can now pay for coffee at the bar with a simple seat gesture : the version with integrated NFC module of the Mi Smart Band 6 (which we reviewed a few months ago) landed in Italy after debuting in other countries at the beginning of the year, marking the first real landing of a Xiaomi wearable device with which to make payments on tricolor soil.

A late arrival compared to countries like China, where the activity tracker with which to make payments from the wrist exists from the previous generation, probably justified from the fact that Italy, lagging behind in Europe, has always recorded the lowest rates of use of electronic payment systems.

Yet l ‘trend reversal of the current year, with a first half that witnessed double-digit growth (+ 23%) of electronic payments in our country, it would seem having reshuffled the cards. In particular, contactless transactions were the driving force, which in the period exceeded 52 billions of euros (+ 66% on the previous year). To this is added the Italian legislation that from 1 January 2021 raised the maximum amount of contactless payments without entering the PIN to 50 euro (from 25 euro) encouraged the mass use of this method, making it even more functional.

LIMITED COMPATIBILITY

Overlooking its technical specificities, which are identical to the basic model except for the NFC chip (AMOLED color display, 30 sports activities, heart rate and SpO2 monitoring, autonomy up to 12 days, water resistance), it should be noted that the device does not support the payment cards of all credit institutions. income, but only those of the Mastercard circuit issued by Nexi and placed by one of the 150 partner banks (such as Allianz Bank, Banca Mediolanum, BPM, Banca Generali and others). As stated by the company, this is a list destined to expand shortly with the arrival of new banking institutions compatible with the system.

On the device it is also possible to view YAP, the mobile payments app that Nexi has created especially for the youngest.

PAPER NOT SUPPORTED? HOW TO TURN THE OBSTACLE WITH CURVES

Although the banks currently supported by Mi Pay are not few, there is a way to be able to circumvent any limit and still use your card. Within Mi Pay, in addition to the support for the Nexi circuit with Mastercard cards, there is the Curve item, or the card that acts as a binder for other credit cards / debt and that we have been using for years now .

By adding Curve to the Mi Pay payment system, di done you can significantly expand the number of supported cards using VISA cards . Curve in fact does nothing but act as an intermediary between Mi Pay and the cards registered in Curve which, in its time, it supports Matercard and Visa. In our tests we have in fact successfully used Mi Pay which is associated with the Curve card which charges the cost on a PayPal VISA and on a Coinbase VISA without any problem.

More information on Curve can be found in our in-depth information:

Curve la carta definitiva: tutte le carte di credito in un solo posto | Recensione

Special 30 Jul

Curve migliora ancora: con Reward, CashBack ancora piĆ¹ alti

Item 05 Sept.

HOW IS PAYMENT MADE WITH MI SMART BAND 6

The procedure to be able to pay with the new Xiaomi band is intuitive and requires a few simple steps: after downloading the app Xiaomi Wear , just associate the Mi Smart Band 6 NFC and register your payment card. It is necessary to emphasize the issue of safety , absolute priority for the entire process, which in the case of the Mi Band it is guaranteed starting from the registration system itself: the latter does not store the card data on the device, but only requires the insertion of a PIN to be used during payment.

To be able to make a transaction, simply activate the payment method by swiping the display and bringing the band closer to the POS. In the case of the first purchase, the PIN entered when registering the card must be entered, a step that will no longer be required for subsequent purchases.

Warning: in the event that the wearable should be removed from the wrist, it will no longer be possible to make further payments without re-entering the security code. A life-saving move especially in the event of theft or loss, which does not allow malicious people to use the smart band of others illegally drawing on the owner’s bank account and which therefore makes it particularly safe.

NEXT STOP?

In the future of Xiaomi Another possibility has recently materialized which would strengthen its role in the contactless payments sector. A few months ago, the leaders of the company’s Indian division revealed that they have a new product in the pipeline, still shrouded in an aura of mystery, called Xiaomi NFC Mi Pay Straps . At the time of the announcement, the specifics of the product, nor its release date, were not disclosed, but it is likely that they are straps with NFC technology incorporated with which it will be possible to make any type of payment. The only details confirmed by Xiaomi India concern the financial partners with whom it is collaborating in the realization of the project, among which are RuPay, RBL and Zeta.

A similar product, for Xiaomi and the entire world of digital payments, a further wind of approx mbiamento: a versatile accessory, adaptable to different wearables of the brand (smartwatch and smartband) capable of recruiting a good percentage of users to the (often in vain) search for devices equipped with NFC that are more accessible than the average offered by the market.

And it could therefore be said that the Mi Smart Band 6 NFC , offering a commodity that until recently only granted medium-high range devices, has been the forerunner to this new trend.

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