Today’s consumers are seeking methods to avoid human interaction during checkout processes and as a direct result, payment methods are constantly evolving. Whereas society used to rely on cash payments, most of the Western World has transitioned into card payments. But that won’t be the final evolutionary steps for payments, as mobile payments are looming on the horizon. Swatch has teamed with Visa to let consumers make payments with their watch.
Introducing The Swatch Pay-by-wrist Solution
Similar to how payments have evolved over the years, so have the watches we wear on our wrists. Back in the old days, one would check the time by using a pocket watch. By the 20th century, the wristwatch gained a lot of popularity and that trend was soon succeeded by smartwatches, which have yet to gain any major traction in the world.
As our watches became more advanced, it only makes sense to explore the boundaries of what these devices can be used for. Counting steps and calories is just the first wave of features smartwatches will bring to consumers worldwide. If it is up to Swatch, we will be using our wristwatches to make contactless payments soon.
Making payments-by-wrist, a possibility requires the help of a major player in the financial sector. Swatch has chosen to venture into this niche market with Visa, one of the world’s leading plastic card providers. At the time of publication, the plan was to launch this pay-by-wrist scheme in the first six months of 2016.
Launching this new venture will not be possible in every country in the world at the same time. According to the information we have received, the service will first be released in Brazil, the US, and Switzerland. However, Swatch has already secured a deal with China’s UnionPay, so an expansion in the Asian region is part of the plans.
Similar to other options, the Swatch pay-by-wrist solution uses an NFC chip hidden in the watch itself. To make this solution as battery-efficient as possible, the Swiss watchmaker opted to use zero energy, thus not affecting the regular battery life of these smartwatches. Swatch will be facing a tough uphill battle, though, as companies like Samsung and Apple are venturing into the smartwatch industry as well.
Less Hardware Solutions And Better Software Support
While the efforts made by Swatch and Visa are nothing short of commendable, the question remains as to whether or not this idea will be viable. Consumers still have to get used to the idea of using a mobile device to make payments, let alone doing it through their wristwatch. But that is not the only obstacle along the way.
Watches are becoming less and less popular in general and smartwatches may not change that trend anytime soon. Checking the time is usually done on a mobile device such as a smartphone, which would make pay-by-wrist solutions completely moot. It looks this watch-based payment solution is well ahead of its time.
Last but not least, it would be much better if these companies focused their attention on making global payments more convenient for everybody, rather than increasing the level of fragmentation affecting the industry. One global software-based solution that works for everyone is far more appealing than just another hardware gimmick.
What are your thoughts on this partnership between Swatch and Visa? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Press Release Via Email