I have recently tested the PAGO contactless payment smart ring, which is the first of its kind from Germany. Certified by MasterCard and Visa, the ring relies on technology made in Germany and allows convenient, hygienic, and secure payments. The PAGO works with iOS and Android phones and impresses with its reliable performance on various payment terminals and the variety of colors and sizes available. Check out the full review below.
What does the PAGO payment ring do?
The PAGO is a contactless payment ring developed by the German startup PAGOPACE. The smart wearable eliminates the need to fumble for your credit card at the checkout, allowing you to pay on the go by simply holding your hand in front of the payment terminal.
How does paying with PAGO work?
Like most credit cards, the smart payment ring contains a passive payment chip that uses NFC technology to transfer the users’ payment data quickly and securely. This means the NFC smart ring works without any power supply. To the payment terminal, the PAGO appears like an ordinary credit card and can therefore be used in any store that accepts credit cards worldwide. NFC technology is designed to exclusively work within a limited distance, ensuring that only intended payments are transmitted from the PAGO to the terminal. In tests, the PAGO ring worked reliably at NFC-enabled credit card terminals in various stores, triggering a payment only when held close to the terminal at a certain angle with a clenched fist. For payments under 50 €, no PIN entry or even touching the terminal is required, ensuring hygienic, contactless payment. For higher payments, a PIN is required and you can set it up in the VIMpay app. As security is commonly considered the most important attribute of contactless payment applications, PAGOPACE has had its smart rings certified by MasterCard and Visa to fulfill the highest security standards.
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How to get started with the PAGO payment ring
The ring works with a virtual MasterCard powered by the VIMpay app for iOS and Android. Therefore, creating a free VIMpay account with a virtual debit MasterCard is required to use the contactless payment gadget. The PAGOPACE team connects each ring to their customer’s credit card before shipping. Once delivered, the VIMpay account can be topped up via bank transfer and the desired amount can then be sent to the debit card-based ring using the VIMpay app, enabled by PAGOPACE’s partnership with Fidesmo Pay. This process might seem complex, but a field test showed that it is completed within a minute using express bank transfer. In case of loss, the money transferred to the PAGO can be rebooked to the VIMpay account within seconds if the phone is connected to the internet.
Materials and usability
A ceramic shell protects the technology from any external damage, ensuring high durability and long-life functioning. Ceramics are well-known for their resistance to water, heat, and scratch. The durability of this material is also evident in everyday life – just think of the fact that even dental implants, which are heavily exposed to all sorts of influences on a daily basis, are made of ceramics. In everyday life, the PAGO has proven itself as a useful gadget in different situations. Thanks to its saltwater resistance, a swim in the sea can be enjoyed without worrying about leaving your money on the shore. Even when the contactless payment ring was exposed to sweat and sports equipment during an intense workout session, these activities neither impacted the payment function nor left any scratches on the piece of jewelry.
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Availability, Sizing, Design
Currently, the PAGO ring is available for purchase in Germany and Switzerland for 89 € or 104 CHF and for now is only compatible with a virtual MasterCard from VIMpay (DE) or CEMBRA (CH). Customers can choose between five different designs: black, white, pink, blue, and black matte, as well as eight sizes ranging from US 6 to US 13. If in doubt about the size, a starter kit can be ordered without premium. This kit includes a ring sizer. It is even possible to batch the same credit card onto different rings for those who can’t decide on one color.
The wide acceptance of credit card payment combined with the technical quality of the device itself makes the PAGO convenient and safe to use for vacations, sports, sauna visits, nightlife, events, or spontaneous purchases on the go. The certification by MasterCard and Visa especially provides the user with a feeling of security. On top of that, paying with a PAGO is guaranteed to attract curious glances at the cash register. However, the use of PAGO currently is still limited to VIMpay credit cards, but PAGOPACE is working on collaborating with further partners to offer users more options and simplify the setup process.