Visa Brings NFC Technology to London Fashion Week

By James O Malley on at

This week is London Fashion Week, which is why if you walk down the Strand everyone is probably dressed a little bit more weirdly than usual. As a clever promotional tie-in with this Visa's Shoreditch-based innovation lab (who knew?) dubbed "Visa Europe Collab" has partnered with designer Henry Holland to conceptualise a new way of paying for stuff, that will likely never be adopted in real life.

Apparently at the "House of Holland" catwalk show ten VIPs were given special rings that had built in NFC payment cards, and they were pre-loaded with £500 for the already rich people to spend. At the end of the show, they were able to approach the various models and touch their rings against a "beautifully designed" receiver tag. The receiver then connected to a payment system via bluetooth and put the payment through - and the receiver lit up to indicate the payment had been received.

Details of the 'purchases' (which Visa leave in quote marks as presumably the celebs didn't have to pay) were then sent backstage where they were bagged up ready for when they leave.

“Henry is one of his generation’s most creative designers. He’s always looking to push the fashion boundaries with his irreverent style and frequently looks to technology as a key element in his creations,” explained Steve Perry, founder and co-creator, Visa Europe Collab in a made up quote for the press release. “Our goal in this partnership was to also push the boundaries of payments and the retail experience – to produce something beautiful and desirable yet also with a very practical and functional purpose – and try it out in a spectacular setting.”

Henry Holland is quoted as saying - presumably of his own free will- that "By making the payment a more seamless element within the emotion of my catwalk show, I believe we’ve offered a glimpse into what the future of fashion retail may hold."