The Swatch Group is one of the very few watch companies in Switzerland that’s actually taking the smartwatch threat very seriously. Swatch inventor recently said that smartwatches are actually an ice age that’s headed towards the Swiss watch industry and companies have to adapt in order to survive. At the company’s annual media day today Swatch CEO Nick Hayek revealed that the company has inked deals that will bring support for NFC payments to its future watches.
To bring NFC payments to future watches Swatch has inked a deal with China UnionPay, a major Swiss bank as well as a major credit card provider. Hayek refused to confirm the other two parties and only named China UnionPay.
Hayek also talked a bit about the company’s upcoming watch lineup which will incorporate some “smart” features. Swatch won’t jump into the market with a full-fledged smartwatch rather it is going to bundle smart features into conventional timepieces.
It plans on bringing NFC payments across its entire collection, this will include low-cost plastic models, and even the premium Omega models. Not only will these watches be able to make payments but they’ll also support features like the ability to unlock hotel rooms.
Hayek rightly pointed out that Swatch is not a consumer technology company. “We don’t want to produce a reduced minimized mobile phone on your wrist.”