Swatch Creating Smartwatch Designed for Mobile Payments
Swatch, one of the largest watch makers in the world, is attempting to expand into a new category: smartwatches. While the company has not released pictures or official specs yet, it has confirmed that it is working on a smartwatch made specifically for mobile payments.
At this time, it is unclear which market Swatch will be targeting with its new smartwatch. Swatch has a payment deal in place with China UnionPay, making China its largest market to date. The company’s Chief Executive, Nick Hayek, said the watch will be launched in Switzerland and “one big country,” but he did not reveal which country that would be.
Swatch makes watches under brands like Longines, Omega, Swatch and Tissot. While the company has certainly been successful over the years, the development of Apple Watch and other similar products threaten Swatch’s long-term profit margins. The planned smartwatch is the company’s attempt to keep up with the competition.
As Forbes noted, there may be multiple versions of the smartwatch on the market–one for mobile payments and one for alerts. The one for mobile payments will be designed to work with NFC payment terminals, just like the Apple Watch. The model for alerts would primarily be used for emails, news and other alerts coming from a smartphone.
There is no launch date for Swatch’s smartwatches yet, but the devices are expected to be compatible with both Android and Windows phones.