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New Jawbone UP4 Fitness Band Allows American Express Payments

April 16, 2015
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The Apple Watch isn’t the only new wearable device designed to make mobile payments easier.

Jawbone on Wednesday unveiled UP4, its latest fitness band which, among other features, will allow users to connect an eligible American Express card via Jawbone’s mobile app for Android or Apple’s iOS system.

Once it’s connected, users will be able to make payments simply by tapping the UP4 at any terminal that accepts American Express contactless payments.

“You don’t need your phone with you, or to push any buttons — just tap and go,” Travis Bogard, Jawbone’s vice president of product management and strategy. “It’s a first-of-its-kind integration that sets a new standard for fitness trackers and demonstrates the opportunity of wearables to improve your daily life.”

American Express says the contactless purchasing is available at thousands of stores, restaurants and other locations, including New York City taxi cabs.

The UP4, of course, also has the sort of features typical to fitness bands, like activity, sleep and heart-rate monitoring, and food logging. But Jawbone is just one of the wearable makers working to integrate the devices more fully with other objects with which we interact daily, creating the “Internet of things.”

Jawbone works with Nest, the smart thermostat system, and other apps range from Whistle, a pet tracker, to a tool, IFTTT, that can work your coffee maker.

Such interactions, particularly mobile payments, have become of increasing interest to consumers with the release of the Apple Watch, which went on sale Friday.

One of the key selling points for Watch has been Apple Pay, Apple’s new mobile payments system which lets users tap a phone or watch at a participating retailer’s register to check out instantly.

The UP4 will be available this summer and sell for $199 on Jawbone’s website.

Doug Gross is a staff writer covering personal finance for NerdWallet. Follow him on Twitter @doug_gross and on Google+.

Image via iStock.