In his 1888 novel "Looking Backward 2000-1887", American writer Edward Bellamy predicted a world where cash would be replaced by alternative payment methods. Granted, his predictions came true many years ago with the advent of credit cards, but beginning in just two weeks a major watch brand is paying tribute to the forward thinker by launching their pay-by-the-wrist watch, the BELLAMY, in China.
Swatch partnered with China UnionPay and Bank of Communications, and with a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip behind the dial, you'll be able to simply wave your wrist over the POS terminal almost anywhere you shop. The NCF chip uses absolutely no power from the watch itself.
Of course we've already seen similar technology with other smart watches and Apple Pay, but I believe this is the first time a major watch brand has released a pay-by-the-wrist device. It's definitely a first in China, even beating Apple Pay which is also scheduled to begin in early 2016, just a few months behind the Swatch system. According to various sources, Swatch does about 45% of their business in China (including Hong Kong, I would have to assume).
Unlike the Apple Watch, this one will only be around $90, or 580RMB. Initially available in 4 classically Swatch color options, including a version with the characters 滴答人生 (Dīdā rénshēng) on the dial, which roughly translates to "a life that's ticking". Swatch is initially releasing the Bellamy in China, but plans to begin in Switzerland and the USA soon thereafter.