Swatch brings its NFC payment tech to Europe ahead of smartwatch rollout

It's only in Switzerland for now
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In 2017 Swatch launched its NFC contactless payment service SwatchPay in China. Now it's teaming up with Mastercard and rolling out the same tech in Switzerland, letting users pay for things using their Swatch watches.

A handful of Swiss banks are onboard with the new partnership, and according to Finextra there are four new Swatch watch models - Blackback, Pastel, Chic and Magic - that will support SwatchPay.

Read this: The best smartwatches to buy in 2019

SwatchPay uses something called tokenization, which creates a unique "token" for the device in lieu of any sensitive banking information. It's a passive technology that doesn't require a data connection or even a paired smartphone, but one that functions like other mobile payment system: just tap your watch on the payment terminal and the transaction is done.

The big benefit of SwatchPay is that it's all linked directly to your account, so you don't need to top up a pre-paid card as services like Barclays Bpay require.

There's no word on whether this will go beyond Switzerland - we've asked Swatch - but it signals a bigger play in the wearables market for the company, which is set to launch its smartwatch platform this year. In October it told Wareable that it plans to launch "Swiss OS" this year.

Swatch brings its NFC payment tech to Europe ahead of smartwatch rollout

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Hugh Langley


Now at Business Insider, Hugh originally joined Wareable from TechRadar where he’d been writing news, features, reviews and just about everything else you can think of for three years.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider.

Prior to Wareable, Hugh freelanced while studying, writing about bad indie bands and slightly better movies. He found his way into tech journalism at the beginning of the wearables boom, when everyone was talking about Google Glass and the Oculus Rift was merely a Kickstarter campaign - and has been fascinated ever since.

He’s particularly interested in VR and any fitness tech that will help him (eventually) get back into shape. Hugh has also written for T3, Wired, Total Film, Little White Lies and China Daily.

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