Swiss watchmaker Swatch has launched an NFC watch in China in partnership with China UnionPay and Bank of Communications that will let consumers make payments with a tap of their wrist in stores across the country.
The launch follows the company’s announcement of plans to launch a payment watch in February 2015 and discussion of its plans and the China UnionPay partnership in March.
The payment option will be rolled out to other partners across China in the “coming months”, Swatch says, starting in January 2016. The company will also launch Swatch Bellamy in Switzerland with a Swiss bank “soon” and a US launch is also being planned.
“The new Swatch Bellamy watches have all the fun, colour and great design that Swatch is famous for, along with a built-in NFC chip hidden under the dial,” the watchmaker says. “Like a prepaid bankcard, a Swatch Bellamy watch allows customers to pay for items using a merchant’s contactless POS terminal.
“Pay-by-the-wrist transactions require absolutely no energy at all from the watch. In China, Swatch has partnered with UnionPay, China’s bankcard association, to activate the innovative and easy-to-use system, and with Bank of Communications, where customers will be able to purchase the new watches.”
The Swatch Bellamy range features four watches in different colours and designs. They will retail for 580 yuan (US$91).