Pay-By-The-Wrist Watch? Swatch Joins Hands with Visa to Develop a Payment Watch
According to a report, Swiss watchmaking company Swatch has partnered with the payment gateway solution giant Visa to develop a watch which can double up as a handy wallet to make payments. This comes as a great news considering smartwatches these days can do most of the important things a smartphone can do.
The device will be sold initially in US and Switzerland and could come to other countries as well. The smartwatch was launched in China two weeks back is already on sale in China with China UnionPay. This goes without saying that the customers can simply tap and go to make the payments through Near Field Communications(NFC) technology.
In Switzerland and China, the watch dubbed as Swatch Bellamy is being planned to launch with the NFC chip under the dial. This might sound slightly inconvenient for the customer since the chip can also be placed on the strap of the watch, but it makes more sense in terms of durability. The watch user will be able to use the watch at a terminal exactly like a prepaid bankcard to make a contactless transaction.
Design wise, the watches will look exactly like any other watch, except for a superpower hidden under the hood. Nick Hayek, Chief Executive of Swatch Group, stated that an announcement from the two giants will be made in the coming days and refused to share more details about the payment watch. The cost of the watch will not be very high(under $100) so as to kill the sales of its siblings, but enough to gain traction in cashless and contactless payment industry.
Swatch is eyeing to sell the watch in US soon after the launch in Switzerland, which makes sense since US is primarily a ‘credit extensive’ country and maximum payments are made through credit cards. Apple Pay has already entered the market through the Apple Watch and Swatch wants to capture some of its market as well.
We might not be able to see the watch in India soon, however with low number of contactless POS terminals, it would not make much sense to launch it. India is still getting used to the idea of credit cards over debit cards and recently mobile wallets for cashless payments. The only reason customers could still buy the watch is because of the quality and reliability of Swatch Group, however the payment industry is quickly evolving here opening newer venues.