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 watch, SWATCH BELLAMY. Slated to launch in early 2016, SWATCH BELLAMY can be used anywhere contactless, NFC-based (near-field communications) Visa payments are accepted.
In his 1888 novel "Looking Backward 2000-1887", American writer Edward Bellamy envisions a utopian world in which cash has been replaced by credit/debit cards - Bellamy was the first to write about such cards, forty years before anyone else. Swatch has named its new pay-by-the-wrist watch "SWATCH BELLAMY". It's also true that "bel ami" means "good friend" in French.
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 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.
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.