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Axis Bank to launch a wearable device in partnership with GOQii

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Axis Bank has tied up with GOQii to launch a wearable device for its customers, reports ET. The device will allow users to make NFC payments, and will come with GOQii’s fitness related features like the coach etc. The band is expected to be launched over the next few months.

Interestingly, the report also mentions that the bank will work at incentivising customers to adopt a healthier lifestyle, like offering loyalty points on walking a certain number of steps every week. However, there are no details if the band will be provided with an Axis Bank account for a recurring fee, or if users will need to pay for it upfront.

Axis Bank is not the first bank looking to integrate payment systems into wearables, although Axis is the first to tie-up with an actual wearable maker. In April last year, ICICI Bank launched a number of banking applications called iWear for smartwatches to offer transactional and informational services for the bank’s customers. Rival HDFC Bank has also said that it will be getting a banking application for smartwatches.

MasterCard program for payments over wearables: In October, MasterCard introduced a new programme called Commerce For Every Device to allow products such as car key fobs, wearables, and fashion accessories to be converted into a payment device. The agency partnered with General Motors, wearable technology company Nymi, smart jewelry company Ringly, Bluetooth locator TrackR and designer Adam Selman for the programme.

Axis Bank’s Lime app: In September last year, Axis Bank launched a new mobile app called Lime which integrates a mobile wallet, shopping, payments and banking. The Android only app is open to customers from other banks as well. The app also allows users to compare and shop for products across online shopping portals within the app itself.

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GOQii funding: In November last year, GOQii raised Series A funding worth $13.2 million led by New Enterprise Associates and Cheetah Mobile, with participation from Great Wall Club, DSG Consumer Partners. At the time, it said it would use the funds to expand to China and other unnamed markets. GOQii founder Vishal Gondal launched the fitness tracking solution coupled with human coaches in February 2014 and the fitness solution in August 2014 in India.

Coach marketplace: In March, GOQii launched a coach marketplace model, wherein users would be able to hire coaches irrespective of their location. These independent coaches would take tests based on GOQii prescribed curriculum and earn a certification to provides their services on the platform, post which they would work on a revenue sharing model. At that time, it was looking to sign up 10,000 independent coaches by next year.

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