Swiss watchmaker Swatch has partnered with Visa to launch a new range of watches with NFC chips installed. These will be used to offer contactless payment in shops and on the London Underground.
The system, called pay-by-wrist, will be installed on the new Swatch Bellamy watch range. But instead of being smartwatches, these will be regular watches with an NFC chip embedded inside the case.
Planned for early 2016, the watches come in a range of different colours and offer different face designs. The watches and accompanying payment service will initially launch in the US, Switzerland and Brazil, with more countries, including the UK, expected to be added to that list soon afterwards.
There is no word yet on price, but we expect the Swatch Bellamy to be considerably cheaper than smartwatches like the Apple Watch. We imagine it'll be priced closely to the Withings Activite Pop, at around £90.
The watches will join a growing group of wearables equipped with contactless payment technology, most notably the Apple Watch and iPhone 6s. Android handsets also include NFC for payments through Google Pay, while Samsung recently launched its own payments system in South Korea.
In the UK, Barclays is the only major bank not to join Apple Pay. Instead, it is going its own way with bPay, a contactless system which includes a wristband, keyring and sticker to apply to the back of your smartphone. All three contain an NFC chip which pays out money from a Barclays account, automatically topped up from your own bank account as you spend.