Swatch China Union Pay

The Swatch is associating the Chinese banking Giants to sell a watch able to make payments in shops across the country

The Swatch Group AG is associating the Chinese banking Giants to sell a clock able to make payments in shops across the country, presenting a challenge to smartwatches from Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

The watch will allow users to carry out payments in shops that have credit card machines of China UnionPay co., according to the company based in Biel, in Switzerland, which is also joining the Bank of Communications (Bocom) co., one of the five largest banks in China.

For sale at retail for 580 Yuan ($ 91), the device called Swatch Bellamy will be sold in China in the establishments of Bocom and Swatch from January next year and then released in Switzerland and in the United States, said CEO Nick Hayek in a press conference in Shanghai on Wednesday.

A communication chip for proximity field located under the display allows the unit to function similarly to a bank card.

To explain why the clock was being sold first in China, Hayek said that although the Swatch always has considered your first domestic territory, Switzerland, “my God, it takes months and months and years” to do something new with the Swiss banks.

The watch is released at a time when the Swiss manufacturers face shrinkage of the Chinese market after the Government began to discourage excessive spending for civil servants, at the end of 2012.

As the Apple Watch is on sale for only $349, the makers of traditional watches are adding electronic functions to their own products.

Game not over

“It is important to have your own version of the Swatch ‘ smartwatch clock ‘, for Apple and other technology companies are looking to build a base in his left wrist,” said Luca Solca, an analyst at analysts at Exane BNP Paribas, in a note on Wednesday. “The Swatch is playing a game that clearly is not over yet”.

The product increases the competition faced by smart watches from Apple and Samsung, which have the resources, but are not connected to the network Unionpay.

The so-called dressing devices could reach $32.2 billion in sales by 2019, against $18.9 billion last year, estimates research firm IHS, whose cast includes, for example, hearing aids.

Watch bracelets

Cie Financière Richemont S.a. offers bracelets … Smart Watches under the brand Montblanc for 350 euros ($ 399) each, while the LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton IF reported that throws a smart TAG Heuer watch $1,400 at the end of this year.

Apple also is trying to give a touch of luxury to your Smart Watch, which is evident in collaboration with Hermès for the production of the Apple Watch bracelets.

The Swatch has decades of experience in the development of technologies that could be applied to a smart watch, such as long-lasting batteries so thin that bends.

The Tissot brand, belonging to the company, produces watches with touch screens since 1999, which currently offer altimeter, compass and sensors to record the descent of a diver.

Payment transactions by mobile devices rose 134% in China in 2014, to 22.6 billion yuan ($ 3.6 trillion), according to the central bank.

The UnionPay, previously held the monopoly network of payments in the country, is facing increasing competition from third-party providers of payment services, like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., and foreign companies like Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. also are eyeing the Chinese market.