7 Ring Review: Ring me up!
One ring to pay them all
You’re returning from your morning walk, and swing by your neighbourhood grocery store to pick up some daily provisions… except when asked to pay, you show the shopkeeper your fist and walk out. No, I’m not suggesting threats of violence for free groceries… but a scene that has played out several times since I’ve started using the 7 Ring, India’s first contactless payment wearable ring.
Made of zirconia ceramic with the sort of finish that befits a legitimate ring, albeit one in sleek Space Black colour, the 7 Ring is available in (no surprise) 7 sizes and is designed and developed entirely in India. It has all the dust- and water-resistant attributes of a normal ring, and since it doesn’t add a bunch of sensors like many other fitness-oriented smart rings, it doesn’t need to be charged and has no battery to worry about.
Instead, it uses an NFC (near field communications) chip embedded inside the ring to act in much the same way as the chip on your Tap-to-Pay credit or debit card does – bring it in close proximity to the reader on a contactless payment terminal and it authorizes your payment transaction exactly as if you’d placed your card there. Except, of course, the shocked looks on the retailers’ faces, who soon realize that the payment transaction did go through and you’re not pulling a fast one on them.
You’re probably thinking the next headlines around this product will be the cases of fraud when people walk up to you, POS terminal in hand, to ‘swipe’ amounts of varying denominations or worse still, your card data, away from you. The folks behind 7 Ring have factored that into the design – the ring only works if you form a fist and touch the NFC reader on the POS (point of sale) machine with the middle joint of your finger…ergo the ‘fist for payment’ I mentioned earlier. Helping the conversation around this ring is the fact that it isn’t linked to a bank account – instead, you load a digital prepaid wallet on a smartphone app, and you can control spend limits, review transactions and… in the coming months, get exciting cashbacks from top retail brands on paying via your 7 Ring.
The only downside? You can’t pay the scores of UPI-only sellers who don’t have POS payment terminals to accept cards, though that will change with the entry of ‘card soundboxes’ – low cost UPI plus tap-and-pay terminals -- in the coming year. Interested in the future of wearable payments? Use the invite code INDULGEXPR to pick up a 7 Ring soon!
Price: INR 4,777