News Dec 01, 2015 08:12 PM EST

Swatch Group Teamed with Visa to develop watch capable of wireless payments in 2016

By Staff Writer

Swatch Group AG partnered up with Visa Inc to develop a watch that can make wireless payments in the United States, Brazil, and Switzerland next year.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the Switzerland watchmaker will sell the Swatch Bellamy, the company's new mobile payment watch. It functions like contactless bank cards with a communication chip under its dial. This new watch can be considered a response to Apple Watch, which brings technological features in a watch.

Investors reported that Visa cardholders in the U.S., Brazil, and Switzerland will be the first to use the Swatch Bellamy. It can be used where there is a near-field-communication-based register that takes Visa. The device was first revealed in Shanghai October this year.

According to reports, it costs $91. Swatch's new device is so much cheaper than the Apple Watch, which also features mobile payment through its Apple Pay. There is no official launch schedule yet, but according to the watch maker, it will be "early 2016." Swatch already partnered up with China UnionPay and Bank of Communications for its contactless payment services in China.

It launched in China, because the country is very enthusiastic in using mobile banking. Now, the company is planning to have a wider roll out next year.

"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 said in a report by the Financial Post. "Swatch Bellamy will open a new era of connected commerce, as mobile payment acceptance continues to increase around the world."

A Near Field Communication (NFC) chip will be installed in the watch to allow users to make mobile payments in shops. Besides NFC, another important feature of the watch is its long battery life.

Besides Swatch and Apple, another mobile-payment watch in the market now is the UP4 by Fitbit competitor Jawbone. It offers tap-and-pay capabilities via American Express.

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