Swatch NFC-Enabled Bellamy Available In Switzerland

Swatch NFC-Enabled Bellamy Available In Switzerland

by December 22, 2015

Swiss watchmaker Swatch is partnering with Visa Europe to enable cardholders to “tap and pay” with the firm’s freshly announced NFC-enabled analog watch the Swatch Bellamy.

Announced at the landmark Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, the new Swatch Bellamy is set to launch in Switzerland, the US, Brazil and China in early 2016 and represent the company’s answer to smartwatches.

“We want to stay away from that connectivity to the cloud and the Internet, because we don’t want you to lose control of your data,” Nick Hayek, co-founder and CEO of the Swatch Group, told the Wall Street Journal.

“You already are loosing control of your data with your mobile phones or iPads. It follows you everywhere. People know where you go, what you do. They try to find out your habits. We don’t want this to happen with watches.”

Essentially, the Swatch Bellamy will allow you to do two things: know the time and pay merchants. The watch itself will only cost US$95 and users will need to activate it with a debit or credit cards.

In China, the Swiss watchmaker is partnering with UnionPay, China’s bankcard association, and the Bank of Communications, to introduce contactless payments “by-the-wrist” to China. The new payment option will be rolled out by the firm’s partners across the country in the coming months, starting in January 2016.

“China is an important market because it has 1.3 billion people, and you have people that are very open, who like to change their habits. They are curious, they travel around,” Hayek said.

Like a prepaid bankcard, a Swatch Bellamy watch allows users to pay for goods and services using merchants’ contactless POS terminals. Swatch said that the Bellamy “will open a new era of connected commerce” considering that mobile payment adoption is continuing its growth all around the world.

Swatch Bellamy isn’t the firm’s first smartwatch – although the only ‘smart’ part here is the NFC chip – as it released in February the Swatch Touch Zero One, a device dedicated to beach volleyball players that allows them to keep track of their fitness data.

Apple, Samsung, Sony, LG, Huawei, and Bulgari are only a few firms that have taken the plunge into the hyped smartwatch market.

Known internationally for its chocolate, banking sector and luxurious watches, Switzerland as well has started offering its own connected watches. Local brands including Mondaine, Frederic Constant, Alpina and Tissot will charge you no less than a thousand bucks for a smartwatch.

However, only of few smartwatches currently available are equipped with NFC chips and will allow you to make contactless payments. Popular ones include the Apple Watch, obviously, Bulgari’s 5,000 EUR Diagono Magnesium smartwatch and the Pebble smartwatches.

Earlier this month, it was unveiled that Samsung will start making Samsung Pay available for its Samsung Gear S2 smartwatches in 2016.

Samsung Pay is a mobile payments service developed from the intellectual property of LoopPay, a crowdfunded startup company that Samsung acquired in February 2015. Samsung Pay support NFC-based mobile payments alongside “Magnetic Secure Transmission,” a technology by LoopPay that transmits card data to the pay terminal’s swipe slot using an electromagnetic field.


Image credit: Swatch Bellamy,

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