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Swatch enters Chinese wearable payments market

Swatch enters Chinese wearable payments market

(16 October 2015 – China) Swiss watchmaker, Swatch is teaming up with Chinese payment giant, Unionpay and Bank of Communications (Bocom) to sell a watch that can be used to make payments.

The device, named Swatch Bellamy, will be available from January 2016 in China, and retail for 580 yuan (A$125), before being rolled out in Switzerland and the US, CEO Nick Hayek said at a briefing in Shanghai on Wednesday.

According to statement from Swatch, it will be sold at Bocom and Swatch outlets and can be used for payments at Unionpay point-of-sale machines across the nation. A near-field communication chip beneath the dial lets the device function in a way similar to a bank card.

The new entrant adds to the competitive ‘wearables’ market, and in particular the Apple Watch, which has payment capabilities but isn’t linked to the Unionpay network.

Hayek said that although the company always considered its home territory of Switzerland first, “…it takes months and months and years" to launch a new initiative with Swiss banks.

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