In July, we wrote about the RFID wristbands used at many music festivals to handle cashless payment as well as access control (plus other functionality). Now a Philadelphia startup has developed a wristband that combines cashless payment with a different function: their VITAband wristbands carry medical information in addition to Visa prepaid debit chips. VITAbands are even offered in the form of wristwatches, adding an extra layer of functionality.
Designed with joggers in mind, the VITAbands are intended as a hassle-free way for runners to stay safe. Carrying wallets and cell phones can be difficult if not impossible in workout attire, but not carrying those items could mean trouble in the case of an emergency. The lightweight VITAband ensures that joggers are always able to make a cash-free purchase at retailers like 7-Eleven, and also provides critical information to medical personnel. Information such as medical conditions and emergency contacts can be included in an Emergency Response Profile, which first responders can then access by calling the toll-free number listed on the wristband.
Combining cashless payment with new functions like this will help get more people and more merchants on board with the idea of cashless payment. And we love to see ideas that combine multiple uses in one badge or wristband, reducing the number of items a person has to wear or carry. If those benefits weren’t enough, the VITAband’s potential for saving lives by providing important medical information really makes it an exciting idea!