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Swatch takes the wraps off its mobile payments watch

Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
October 14, 2015
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Swatch has revealed that it's working on a mobile payments watch that it'll launch in partnership with banks in China. Bloomberg reports that the timepiece will let users make purchases at point-of-sale machines in stores, thanks to an NFC chip that's embedded beneath the dial. The device, named Swatch Bellamy, will launch in January 2016 in the country, priced at 580 yuan ($91), with releases in Europe and the US coming afterward. Unfortunately, we're not sure too many people are going to be camping out days ahead of time to buy a bargain-basement fashion watch with an NFC chip inside. After all, you could buy a regular watch now and just grab an NFC sticker from any bank that offers them to its users.

At the announcement, Swatch CEO Nick Hayek (pictured) conceded that it was a break from tradition for the company that normally launches its watches in its home country of Switzerland. Unfortunately, he is quoted as saying that Swiss banks moved too slowly in opening up to mobile payments technology, so the firm moved on. It remains to be seen if Swatch's gamble on long battery life at the expense of functionality is the right approach to take, but we're not sure this counts as groundbreaking innovation.

[Image Credits: AFP/Getty (Nick Hayek), Sina Tech (Bellamy Watch)]

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