Now before we even jump into this, I need to disclose this is only a \u201cproof-of-concept\u201d smartwatch. What does that all mean? Well, Optus is testing out its own technology and app on what is essentially a \u201cdummy\u201d smartwatch. Why do they bother doing this? So that when they place this technology on the big-wig Apple and Samsung smart-watches, things don\u2019t go wrong when they\u2019re dealing with people\u2019s money.\r\n\r\nSo back to the story.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOptus got in touch with us and asked us if we were keen to try out their Cash by Optus app. We were a bit sceptical at first but when they told us they\u2019d also send through a smart-watch loaded with about $100 to spend as we please, we jumped at the bit. Who doesn\u2019t like freebies (although we had to give the watch back).\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIf you haven\u2019t heard, Cash by Optus is a contactless payment app, powered by Visa payWave, that enables you to finally make use of that NFC chip in your phone to pay for goods or services at a credit card terminal instead of using old, clunky cash, coins or credit card.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s a tonne of companies, including the four major bank\u2019s here in Australia, trying to pull this off but no-one who has delivered on a service as fluent as Optus\u2019 in our opinion. There\u2019s a few benefits to paying with your phone instead of cash or a credit card: (i) it\u2019s more secure; (ii) it\u2019s faster to tap & go; (iii) you can more easily track your spending habits; and (iv) you only have to carry one device around with you (goodbye wallet!).\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nCash by Optus works just like a Prepaid debit card. You can load up to $500 at any one time on the app and make contactless purchases under $100 at any terminal that accepts payWave.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe smartwatch supplied to us by Optus takes this one step further, allowing you to leave your phone in your pocket and pay simply with by tapping your watch against the terminal. When in close range, the connected watch and linked smartphone sync up via Bluetooth to update the account balance on the connected watch and transaction details on the linked phone.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe watch itself was nothing special, so don\u2019t worry if it looks a little derpy on our wrist. What\u2019s important to focus on is the ease of payment! Although you might look like a total jackass when you have to explain why you\u2019re paying with your watch, the whole process was actually surprisingly smooth.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEven if you\u2019re carrying a few things in your hands, the terminal was very quick to recognise the watch as a payments device. We got a coffee in the morning and few beers in the arvo and I have to tell you, after having it on my wrist for the day, it\u2019s something I wish I had access to all the time.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWelcome to the future.