Bellamy will allow users to send pay through any store that has China UnionPay Co.’s point-of-sale machines. The watch simply offers features such as card-free payments. There is no Wi-Fi, no Bluetooth and no internet connection at all. A near-field communication chip beneath the dial lets the device function in a way similar to a bank card.
The watch is priced at RMB 580 ($91), and will be available in China from next year. The company also said that they are in discussion with the Bank of Communications, one of China’s largest financial institutions.
Apart from the payment feature, Bellamy is a simple watch which has no fancy features and detailing. Therefore, after releasing in Chine the watch will also be launched in the company’s home country of Switzerland as well as the United States.
The introduction of the watch comes as Swiss watchmakers have struggled with a shrinking Chinese market since the country’s government started discouraging exuberant spending among officials in late 2012. With the Apple Watch on sale for as little as $349, traditional watchmakers are adding electronic functions to their own products. The product adds to the competition faced by Apple and Samsung’s smartwatches, which have payment capabilities but aren’t linked in to the Unionpay network.
Let us wait to see if Swatch’s dream of launching its own smartwatch version fares well or not! Let us know about your opinion in the comment section.