• Swatch Launches its Bellamy Watch, Enters China Mobile Payments Market Before Apple

    The world’s largest watchmaker (based on revenue), Swatch, recently announced immediate Chinese availability of Bellamy, an NFC-toting watch that is capable of conducting mobile transactions that are processed by the credit card operator, UnionPay, and the state-owned Bank of Communications Co.

    The recent launch represents a “foot in the door” introduction into the Chinese payments sector. More importantly, its seen as a head start on Apple, which is still trying to market its own touchless solution in the form of Apple Pay on the Apple Watch. The Cupertino California company is looking to appeal to the masses and huge installed customer base. As a result, Apple is generally being viewed as a legitimate threat to traditional watchmakers.

    Swatch’s Bellamy, which is priced at roughly 600 yuan (roughly $95) is a smartwatch that comes without any Internet activity and can’t really be considered an Apple Watch competitor. The Wall Street Journal reports though that the new Swatch device did launch in partnership with UnionPay, which is China’s only viable processor of NFC payments. The deal, along with a separate collaboration with China’s Bank of Communications, grants the Swiss watch conglomerate access to the country’s mobile payments infrastructure – a move which Apple is still trying to make. This road could be a rocky one for Apple as the company is reluctant to store customer data on in-country servers.

    Swatch CEO, Nick Hayek, had the following to say regarding the matter:

    We are not a consumer technology company. We don't want to produce a reduced, minimized mobile phone on your wrist.
    The CEO originally dismissed the idea of an Apple branded wearable back in 2013 but ended up quickly changing his perspective on things. Just a few months after the Apple Watch was unveiled and two months prior to its release, Swatch started to announce competing products.

    We’ll have to see how the Bellamy holds up against the Apple Watch (though they aren’t direct competitors).

    Source: The Wall Street Journal
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Swatch Launches its Bellamy Watch, Enters China Mobile Payments Market Before Apple started by Akshay Masand View original post
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