Imagine using the ring on your finger to pay for your morning coffee – or your thumbprint.
This is not science fiction, but science fact and is some of the latest innovation to emerge in the field of contactless technology.
Payment rings combine fashion with technology and allow wearers to "tap and go" without worrying about carrying their card says Ruth Riviere, country manager for Mastercard New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Security and convenience are two key selling points for contactless payments regardless of whether the technology is used through a card, smartphone or is wearable. Internationally a range of products are gaining traction with consumers - expanding the practicality of everyday accessories without sacrificing style.
Bankwest in Australia has recently partnered with Mastercard to offer one of the many payment rings that put funds at your fingertips. These are also designed with fashion and function in mind and, Riviere says, it is among technology trends that are the way of the future.
But using your thumb to authorise payment - already on trial in South Africa - may be one of the advances leading to a point where payments via the press of a fingertip become the norm.
Riviere says biometric fingerprint technology enables people to pay by using their thumbprint on their card; both the payment ring and fingerprint technologies are just some of many emerging all the time.
"Cards are only the first step when it comes to contactless payments," she says. "Many people are already using their fingerprint, or a selfie, to authorise payments.
"We are already seeing technology such as smartphone payments and wearables like smartwatches being adopted by users in New Zealand. The trends we are seeing here and overseas show businesses who are embracing the technology now are future-proofing their business.
"Innovation in contactless payment technology is not only making transactions faster and more convenient, but also more secure," says Riviere.
Mastercard research shows there has been a leap in the number of people using contactless technology through cards as it becomes more widely accepted. Up to 63 per cent of those surveyed said they are using it at least once a week well up from 55 per cent in 2017.
And 16 per cent of people are using contactless technology with smartphones while a further 30 per cent say they are interested in doing so in the future.
Millennials are the most enthusiastic embracers of the new tech, with nine out of ten in the 25-34 age range using contactless payment methods. As more tech natives (those born in the internet age) move into the market it's likely that contactless technology will become the status quo.
Riviere says businesses should take heed as the survey revealed consumers are frustrated if the businesses they frequent do not provide contactless technology.
One business that has is Cookie Bar in Queenstown with the store installing contactless technology over two years ago. Selling hot cookies, cookie dough and ice creams, they are a popular little store attracting customers from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week.
Lisa Petrowski, Cookie Bar's retail manager says they often have queues of people lined up outside when they open at 8am (for the $1 coffee hour); the ability to "tap and go" speeds up the process significantly.
"We're always on our toes, serving customers, baking another round of cookies, topping up our ice cream and cookie dough," she says. "In winter people line up all day for our hot chocolate and hot cookies. There's always lots happening so switching on has really helped by making our transactions smoother and faster."
Sohel Chimbeiwala, a Robert Harris franchise owner at Botany Town Centre in Auckland, introduced contactless payment technology just two months after opening his café. With a history in retail banking, Chimbeiwala was an enthusiastic adopter.
"Having a history in banking and accounts administration, I knew how useful the technology was," he says. "With any café operation there are high pressure times when queues form so the 'tap and go' capability means they move a lot faster. It also means we don't carry as much cash."
For more information setting up contactless enabled terminals in your business, see http://www.switchonnz.co.nz/