Swatch partners with Visa for pay-by-the-wrist contactless payments

Swatch and Visa collaboration

Biel / Bienne (Switzerland) / Foster City, (CA, USA), November 30, 2015 – Swatch SA and Visa Inc. together with Visa Europe have signed an agreement giving eligible Visa cardholders in the U.S., Switzerland and Brazil the ability to tap and pay with Swatch’s new «pay-by-the-wrist» watch, Swatch Bellamy. Slated to launch in early 2016, Swatch Bellamy can be used globally, anywhere contactless, NFC-based (near-field communications) Visa payments are accepted.

Fully consistent with the DNA of the pioneering Swiss watchmaker, Swatch Bellamy combines exciting yet functional Swatch design with state-of-the- art payment technology from Visa. Swatch Bellamy will open a new era of connected commerce, as mobile payment acceptance continues to increase around the world.

Why «Swatch Bellamy»? 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1888 novel «Looking Backward 2000-1887», American writer Edward Bellamy envisions a utopian world in which cash has been replaced by credit/debit cards –Bellamy was the first to write about such cards, forty years before anyone else.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». It‘s also true that «bel ami» means «good friend» in French, and the new Bellamy watch will doubtless become a good friend to its wearer.

Contactless NFC technology uses high-frequency radio waves to enable electronic devices to communicate over short distances, usually less than 10 cm. The new Swatch Bellamy watches have all the fun, color and great design that Swatch is famous for – and 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 itself, meaning customers can expect the usual battery life of a Swatch.

Swatch Bellamy, in collaboration with Visa, is scheduled to be initially available in early 2016 in the U.S., Switzerland, and Brazil. Swatch Bellamy was first presented in China, in October 2015.

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