Swatch first announced plans to release a smartwatch capable of making mobile payments back in February. The company had hoped to have it out by the summer but it took until yesterday for the Swiss company to officially unveil this new watch. Dubbed the “pay-by-the-wrist” watch, the Swatch Bellamy comes with built-in NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to support contactless payments.
The Swatch Bellamy is not so much a full-fledged smartwatch as a “smarter watch” whereby a traditional watch is enhanced with additional functionality. It will work like a prepaid card, allowing a customer to pay by simply tapping their watch to a point-of-sale machine. Transactions will not require any energy from the watch itself.
The Bellamy takes its name from American writer Edward Bellamy whose 1888 novel “Looking Backward 2000-1887” in which he envisioned a utopian world in which cash has been replaced by credit and debit cards.
The Swatch Bellamy will first launch in China where Swatch has partnered with China UnionPay and Bank of Communications, one of China’s big-five banks, to support its mobile payments capabilities. It will sell for about ¥580 (about US$90 or CA$120) when it hits stores in early 2016. Four models will initially be offered.
Swatch also plans on bringing the Bellamy to other markets. Confirmed but without timelines are Switzerland and the U.S.
Source : Swatch