Visa will help Swatch's not-so-smart watch make payments in US

Swatch's Bellamy, a watch that can make contactless card payments, is ready to go in the US, Switzerland and Brazil

Swatch is linking its Bellamy watch with VISA to enable contactless payments in the U.S., but too late for you to go Christmas shopping with -- or for -- one.

Swatch is hoping that the addition of an NFC payment chip to its iconic plastic watches will help it fight off the threat from smarter wristwear with even more silicon, such as the Apple Watch or Android Wear devices.

Last month, Swatch said it will work with Chinese network Unionpay to add some payment smarts to its watches there, hinting that it would soon bring the range to the U.S. and Europe.

On Monday the company confirmed that Visa cardholders in the U.S., Switzerland and Brazil will be able to link their payment cards to the Bellamy when it goes on sale early next year. They will be able to use the watch to make payments worldwide, wherever contactless Visa payments are accepted.

Swatch's October announcement of the Bellamy prompted ridicule and disappointment when it was revealed -- after some months of fighting talk from CEO Nick Hayek -- that it was basically just a watch with an embedded NFC chip.

It wasn't even the company's first foray into wrist-based wireless authentication: it launched the Swatch Access, with an embedded RFID chip able to hold a ski pass, around 20 years ago.

Earlier this year, Swatch tackled the market for smart devices from a different direction, with a touch-screen watch containing an accelerometer. In addition to the step-counting and goal-setting we have come to expect from such activity monitors, the Swatch Touch Zero One also includes a special volleyball mode that counts hits and records the relative strength of the most powerful strikes on the ball. The data can be downloaded to a smartphone for analysis.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?