Swatch and Visa join forces to launch NFC payment watch

Swatch Bellamy launching in US, Brazil and Switzerland next year
Swatch and Visa's NFC payments watch

Swatch and Visa are bringing the analog, NFC payments, Bellamy watch to the US, Brazil and Switzerland next year.

The Swatch Bellamy was officially announced by the Swiss watchmaker in October, bringing contactless NFC payments to China. It will go on sale in the US, Brazil and Switzerland in "early 2016" and Visa cardholders will be able to make payments by tapping their wrist onto contactless payment terminals.

Back in March, Swatch CEO Nick Hayek revealed the company's smartwatch plans - a watch with NFC capabilities to handle payments, open hotel doors and compatible locks, and a watch with Bluetooth for displaying alerts and news from a smartphone.

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The former device is the Bellamy that, in partnership with China UnionPay Co, already offers wearers NFC features such as card-free payments in China. There's no Wi-Fi, no Bluetooth and no internet connection at all. "We don't want to connect to a cloud," said Hayek.

Swatch's release also notes that the battery life will be that of a typical Swatch watch. "Pay-by-the-wrist transactions require absolutely no energy at all from the watch itself, meaning customers can expect the usual battery life of a Swatch," it reads. We don't yet know if and how payments are authenticated.

The Swatch Bellamy costs ¥580, which is about $90 and looks like a regular watch. No US or European pricing has been announced.

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In August, it was revealed that Swatch will be launching a range of smartwatches, including the Swatch Touch Zero Two launching for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

"Our product is called Touch Zero One and that gives enough room for Zero Five, Zero Nine," Hayek told Switzerland's Tages-Anzeiger newspaper. "The Touch Zero One is not the end of the progression."

The Touch Zero One, revealed in February, is a volleyball-based fitness tracker that counts steps, distance and calories during beach matches as well as tracking "power hits" and "power claps".

Source: WSJ and Swatch

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