SwatchPAY! is the contactless payment technology found in over 20 Swatch watches. Launched last year, and in continuous display, this collection combines an almost 40-year-old watchmaking tradition with the now widespread digital payments via NFC. A very different approach than what we have seen so far, with manufacturers focusing on smartwatches or hybrids dedicated to monitoring physical activity. The question at this point is: does it work? Is Swatch's solution the right one? To find out I decided to use SwatchPAY only! for a week. I'll tell you how it went.
SwatchPAY !: things to know before starting
Before telling you about the experience, let's take a step back. How are these Swatch watches? There SwatchPAY collection! embraces three different families: i New Gent with 41 mm case, Gent with 34 mm case and Big Bold with 47 mm case. Aesthetically they are faithful to the famous Swatch designs and colorful, while inside we find an NFC chip which allows payment with the watch.
The first step, once you have purchased the product, is activation, operation that also includes the association of a payment card (credit, debit or prepaid) VISA or Mastercard, issued by one of the banks supported by SwatchPAY !. To find out which credit institutions are compatible, just visit the official website which includes a small tool that will help you find out if your card can be associated with SwatchPAY! Watches.
Activation can take place in three different ways:
- Via NFC and application;
- Online, on the Swatch website;
- In Swatch Stores or at select retailers.
What changes? In-store activation involves the help of a salesperson for the preliminary operations, after which you will be the one to connect the credit card, so as to guarantee security and privacy even in this phase.
If you want, you can do everything directly online: choose the model you like, select the online activation, put it in the cart, create the account by following the suggested steps and finally enter the details of the card to be associated. Once received at home, you only have to enter the identification code in the SwatchPAY! App to finalize activation.
Finally, you can activate your new Swatch watch using only the application and NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, now present on most smartphones.
But be careful: you can only activate the Swatch with Android as Apple does not currently allow the use of NFC. In short, no iPhone at this stage but, once the operation is done, you can use the iOS application for the daily management of the clock. Among the available functions we find the list of transitions made with the clock and the ability to disable digital payments, a very useful option if you think you are not taking advantage of SwatchPAY! for a few days or simply to have extra security.
My week with SwatchPAY!
What we have seen so far was the preparatory phase, the one that precedes the actual use of SwatchPAY! Watches. What happens next? Well, all you have to do is get out of the house and start making payments.
My first purchase was in an ice cream parlor. Nothing complicated: I brought the watch close to the POS and in a few seconds I was out of the room to enjoy my tasty ice cream. The amount is the same as the one requested at the cashier: there are no commissions and, in general, Swatch does not provide for any additional cost for the service offered.
The following day I decided to switch to a slightly more substantial purchase so I decided to offer lunch to my colleagues. A higher expense means request for the PIN: in fact, exceeding 25 or 50 euros - depending on the bank - you will have to enter your personal code to confirm the transaction.
The next expense was… well, the actual expense. A quick tour of the supermarket that ended with the shop assistant who, amazed, watched me pay with a simple twist of the wrist.
But why limit yourself to always using the same watch? Mid-week I decided to switch from Strawberries Pay! of the New Gent collection at WinePay! of the Gent range. You don't need two credit cards to do this: you can in fact associate a single credit card for each watch but the same card can be connected to multiple products. This not only allows you to own multiple Swatch watches but also to use the same card for the whole family or just for your children.
Over the course of my week with SwatchPAY collection watches! I had the opportunity to make other purchases: a book, an aperitif and a new mascara. I even avoided using cards or smartphones for entry into the subway: a twist of the wrist is enough to get in and out. Really a nice convenience.
Who are SwatchPAY! Watches suitable for?
SwatchPAY! it's a really smart solution. You have a credit card on your wrist that allows you to pay for anything without sacrificing the design and lightness of a classic watch. But there is more. The products of the SwatchPAY! they are water resistant, which makes them also suitable for use in the pool or the sea. If you want, you could take a bath and then run directly to buy an ice cream without recovering your wallet, which you could even leave at home while enjoying the summer sun!
Who is it suitable for? Actually everyone. If you are looking for a colorful, smart and perfect product for the summer, the watches of this collection are for you. The price is definitely more affordable than those of smartwatches enabled for digital payments: it starts from only € 75 and reaches a maximum of € 105.
Don't forget the great advantage in terms of autonomy: the energy necessary for the operation is supplied by the terminal so even if the clock battery runs out you could still make contactless payments.
If you want to know more and discover the entire collection, I invite you to visit the official SwatchPAY! Page. You might really find the watch that suits your tastes and needs.