Rummys Blog An world of endless Monday

Friday, 8 September, 2017

Kerv Contactless Payment Ring Review

Filed under: General — Andrew.Rowbottom @ 1:20 pm

Edit 2017-12-08:

This post on my Kerv ring has attracted a few comments, some of them not so great!

The most worrying ones are the ones from the original KickStarter backers, it seems that a fair number have not received their rings and have great difficulties getting acceptable responses to their inquiries. Read the comments and you’ll have to decide for yourself if this business should receive your money – I’ve already paid and it would be cutting my nose off to spite my face to stop using it!



Ring in the changes!

A while ago I bought a kerv ring, which is a ring you wear that lets you (usually) make a contactless payment without needing to pull out any cards/phones/watches. I thought I’d post some of my experience with it. To see what it looks like visit the site, it’s glossy!

Cost

The ring costs £100 which is a fair bit, though it does occasionally go on sale for £80. Its worth noting that that cost is not strictly a one-off – it’s going to expire in 4 years according to the FAQ. I think of it as £25 a year / £2 a month, which doesn’t hurt as much.

Purchasing

Frankly this wasn’t a great experience, I ordered mine at the end of June and it took nearly a month to arrive, which to be fair was pretty much as long as they said it would take. It would have been nice if they’d said 4 weeks and then delivered in 2 weeks. After 3 weeks I did change my “colour” choice to speed things up a bit too.

Support

I have to say, the kerv team were very responsive to my emails, getting back to me within a day.

Using it

When it works, and it does work a lot of the time, it’s great.

Occasionally I have to do the “fist bump” twice, and sadly not quite *every* payment terminal accepts it. There’s a terminal in my local Maplin’s that doesn’t like it, so you won’t leaving your wallet at home – not that every shop accepts contactless anyway.

It is a pre-pay system, so you have to make sure you top-up regularly, or you can enable the auto-topup system. Which believe me after you’ve suffered the embarassment of declined payments you’ll seriously think about.

Oh, and you get a “virtual card” if you need yet another card!

What’s good

  • Its always with me
  • Decentish range of colours
  • Easy to use and keep topped up.
  • It’s tough, I’m hard on things I wear, very hard. And it’s not showing signs of scratching.
  • It’s comfortable, it’s not “square”, it has a rounded inner profile that works very well.

What’s not so good

Because I do gripe!

  • It doesn’t always work first time, and for specific terminals, not at all. Probably not the ring’s fault.
  • Longish delivery time.
  • The Statements only show when and how much you spent.
  • The ring sizes probably don’t go low enough – only as low as a UK M. I bought a size N for my little finger (I have small hands), and that is loose on all of my girlfriends fingers.

Wrap-up

I like my ring, it’s convenient and has a certain cool factor. I feel a little smug every time I see someone fiddling with their phone to pay for something.

Would I buy another one in 4 years, yes I would!

Could I live without it? Yes, it’s not a critical part of my life, I usually have a wallet on me.

8 Comments »

  1. I don’t know what other backers experience of this is but i backed this back in 2015 and I’m yet to receive mine every time i enquire they say it will be another couple of weeks well that was more than 6 months ago now.

    Comment by Sam — Monday, 30 October, 2017 @ 10:28 pm

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience. Let me add also few points here if you don’t mind.

    I am a Kickstarter backer and only recently received my ring as well. It is a pleasure to do a quick payment transaction as most of the time in the past people used to look angry whenever you are taking out a debit card to pay for something that could have been paid with a coin. This of course only as long as the terminal is ready – similar like you did I have also discovered some older terminals which did not work (probably the coil inside them is not big enough or tuned well and require therefore a credit card sized rfid).

    I like to fiddle with the ring on my finger as it has a nice smooth feel. It is somehow bulky for people that are not used to rings but you only need to wear it while you are outside anyway.in case it got stuck, all it takes is some water as the surface is amazingly smooth and sleek.

    Currently the ring is only available to the UK market – probably due to the fact, that the MasterCard chip inside the ring is limited to UK pounds only. These rings do work of course flawless in other countries as well, but you are then charged for each conversion as well as the uploading (Euro -> GBP, GBP -> Euro).

    I believe Sam lives in Europe or the US and will receive his ring once they have produced the Euro/US batch.

    Making payments with the ring do sometimes take longer as most vendors are surprised and ask to have a closer look on the ring. Others discreetly look on your finger while handing over the receipt as they think you might have just played a magic trick on them and it would make them look like a fool asking about it.

    The ring expires 4 years after the production date (hardcoded in the chip), not the activation date. Therefore you shouldn’t have it waiting in the box without using it: there is definitely somebody out there who would love to buy it from you – trust me, I know. I would buy the ring again anytime.

    Comment by Kickstarter — Friday, 10 November, 2017 @ 10:24 am

  3. Mine hardly ever works. I think it’s useless. I could be using it wrong but have many ways can you present the a ring to a payment terminal. I bought mine mainly to use on the tube in London so I would have to faff around with my Oyster or card. I’m not confident enough to use it though. Im certain with such a low level of acceptance and reliability, I’d be strung up by other impatient passengers on my first journey. Summary: Great idea….shockingly poor execution.

    Comment by Mark Wakelin — Thursday, 30 November, 2017 @ 5:25 pm

  4. I too backed the project in 2015. After getting pushed back months and months for an EU batch, I got fed up and asked for my money back. Since then, have not heard a peep from them, despite four emails being sent. Am very truely pissed off at thier lack of good customer service….

    Comment by Beemouse — Thursday, 7 December, 2017 @ 2:11 pm

  5. To Mark above.
    I had the same issue when I had the ring that I can hardly ever get it to work reliably. Then I realised that because the acceptable distance is 4mm, you do have to move the ring slightly lower to the knuckle instead of it sit in the middle of your finger for the machine to read it faster and reliably.
    Make sure the ring is within 4mm of the POS machine’s screen for anyone who find it hard to get it to work.
    And I found it works better if the ring is positioned slightly above the middle of the digital display on the POS machine.

    Comment by Zheng — Thursday, 7 December, 2017 @ 3:42 pm

  6. Mine was from an early Pre-order, took its sweet time to arrive but arrive it did (after about a year & 1/2). Works perfectly although I often consciously fiddle with it before paying to move it along my finger closer to my knuckle and as close to the readers as possible to ensure it’s picked up – also POS’ Require cashiers to trigger the card/contactless payment; it seems like if I’m ready with the ring on the terminal before the cashier triggers it, it tends to fail, but if I wait for them to hit their button first before going to make the payment it’s 100% success rate! (just wish it didn’t freak out the cashiers – very tired of explaining its the ring and getting regular “OMG that’s amazing it’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that!!!1” reactions)

    Comment by Hudzen10 — Saturday, 30 December, 2017 @ 10:49 pm

  7. I like the idea of this, but what puts me off is that you can get the same thing in Australia called the Halo for A$39. That?s a massive price difference. To me it says wait before you buy.

    Comment by AlanR — Thursday, 15 March, 2018 @ 9:07 pm

  8. Just got my ring after a long wait (which I didn?t mind) and my user experience so far has been not good. One successful transaction out of 8. I was wearing it together with my wedding ring, and at first thought this is probably why it failed to work, but have removed the wedding ring and continues to fail almost every time I attempt to use. Any assistance would be great.

    Comment by Rob — Monday, 7 May, 2018 @ 10:36 pm

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