Mastering the Future of Payments

  • PARTNER: MasterCard

    GOAL: To bring a forward-thinking, design-led approach to new wearable payments technology

    APPROACH: MasterCard sponsored a weekend Design Sprint in which teams of students competed to develop solutions and build prototypes for connected commerce by embedding payments functionality into products, new designs, or concepts.

    After submitting initial concept pitches, 18 semi-finalists were chosen and divided into interdisciplinary teams. At the end of the sprint, a panel of judges evaluated the pitches on the basis of three criteria: creativity and innovation; execution and documentation of the process; and vision and presentation.

    OUTCOME: With the rising prevalence of connected devices in our world, MasterCard tapped students at Parsons School of Design to develop new types of wearables featuring embedded payment functionality that were nontraditional yet functional and attractive.

    Six teams of students representing various areas of study including fashion, industrial design, product design, data visualization, and design and technology reimagined a future in which money and payments would be a seamless part of the consumer’s daily experience. While the focus was on contactless payment functionality, the ultimate goal was to allow consumers to break away from conventional methods and shop using the device most convenient for them yet with the highest level of security available. All of the teams successfully developed new concepts and prototypes for MasterCard, embedding payment functionality in a broad range of products and designs.

    The competition ended in a three-way tie between a chip-enabled eyewear design, a wrist piece activated by a handshake, and a chip-embedded shoe insole.

    As technology continues to play a greater role in all aspects of our lives, including fashion, companies are turning to design to help build a more seamless customer experience. Collaborations with a new generation of design students will be critical in pushing the boundaries of the imagination and developing design concepts that help shape a better future.

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