Shanghai (China) October 14, 2015 – Pioneering Swiss watchmaker Swatch presented Swatch Bellamy, the new «pay-by-the-wrist» watch, at the landmark Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai today. Swatch has joined forces with China UnionPay and Bank of Communications to introduce contactless payment «by-the-wrist» to China. The first four watches combine exciting, colorful yet functional Swatch design with built-in NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, allowing people to use their watches to pay for purchases in shops and stores around the country.
In his fascinating 1888 novel «Looking Backward 2000-1887», American writer Edward Bellamy envisions a utopian world in which cash has been replaced by credit/debit cards – Bellamy was the first to write about such cards, forty years before anyone else. Always happy to acknowledge fellow innovators and visionaries, Swatch has named its new pay-by-the-wrist watch «Swatch Bellamy».
NFC technology uses high-frequency radio waves to enable electronic devices to communicate over short distances. The new Swatch Bellamy watches have all the fun, color and great design that Swatch is famous for - along with a built-in NFC chip hidden under the dial. Like a prepaid bankcard, a Swatch Bellamy watch allows customers to pay for items using merchants' contactless POS terminals. Pay-by-the wrist transactions require absolutely no energy at all from the watch. In China Swatch has partnered with UnionPay, China's bankcard association, to activate the innovative and easy-to-use system, and with Bank of Communications, where customers will be able to purchase the new watches.
Swatch Bellamy celebrated its worldwide premiere at a press conference held October 14, 2015 at The Swatch Art Peace Hotel on the Bund in Shanghai. Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek, China UnionPay Vice Chairman Chen Zhi and Bank of Communications General Manager of Personal Finance Services Department Tao Wen presented the project to the guests and the press at the landmark hotel and site of the watchmaker's renowned artist-in-residence program. The key players then signed the partnership agreement. The new payment option with Swatch Bellamy will be rolled out by the partners across China in the coming months, starting in January 2016.
Swatch Bellamy will soon be launched in Switzerland with a Swiss bank and secure transaction partner, as well as in the USA.
Swatch, launched in 1983 by Nicolas G. Hayek, is a leading Swiss watch maker and one of the world's most popular brands. The first Swatch watches surprised everyone with their revolutionary concept, creative design and provocative spirit. Today Swatch continues to innovate and surprise with new models, collections and special editions. The brand maintains a strong presence in the world of sports with its commitment to snowboarding, freeskiing, surfing, beach volleyball and mountain bike slopestyle. Right from the start, Swatch connected with art and artists, and Swatch watches remain a prominent canvas for artists from a broad range of disciplines.
UnionPay establishes and operates an inter-bank transaction settlement system. Based on the worldwide bankcard network, UnionPay develops creative payment services and promote the development and application of bankcard, it provides quality, safe and efficient bank card service for the public. Presently, UnionPay has issued nearly 5 billion bankcards globally, UnionPay acceptance network accelerated extension to small and medium-sized cities and the broad rural regions, and has been extended to 150 countries and regions in Asia, Europe, America, Oceania and Africa. UnionPay owns around 30 million special merchants in worldwide and has over 1.8 million ATMs. UnionPay actively collaborates with various industries parties and transaction organizations. For further information, please contact: www.unionpay.com
About Bank of Communications
Founded in 1908, Bank of Communications is amongst the top 5 leading commercial banks in China. Strategically, BOCOM aims at developing itself into a first-class public bank group focused on wealth management services by means of international expansion and universal banking platform build-up. The Bank is one of the major financial services providers in China. The Bank's business scope comprises commercial banking, securities services, trust services, financial leasing, fund management, insurance, offshore financial services and so on. The Bank has 30 provincial branches all over China, altogether 2,785 outlets in 230 cities and 165 counties nationwide. In addition, the Bank has set up 15 overseas institutions, has also established correspondent relations with over 1658 banks in 142 countries or regions. 2015, the bank made into the list of FORTUNE 500 for seven consecutive years. In terms of operating income, the Group ranked No. 190. In addition, the Group ranked No. 17 among the global top 1000 banks in terms of Tier-1 Capital by The Banker magazine.
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