Payments app MuchBetter and Swiss watch smart glass provider, Winwatch, have teamed up to launch a unique analogue payments steel watch with smart payment functionality.
It is the first watch to use “STISS” payment glass, a super-strong sapphire glass infused with payment technology. It allows wearers to make contactless payments up to £45.
The watch is aimed at people who want “the stylish appearance and features of a timeless luxury Swiss analogue watch, but with exclusive payment functionality”. It also avoids the drawbacks of modern smartwatches such as the need for regular charging, internet dependence, tech obsolescence and bulky designs.
Winwatch is the first company to seal a payment chip (EMV) and antenna within a glass watch face, the kind of technology jump you may expect from a Q-made James Bond watch, and it can be used at millions of locations worldwide where Mastercard contactless is accepted.
This technological development could make it quick and easy for any watch manufacturer to create their own payment watch, or even retrofit existing models with STISS glass (Swiss Technology Inside Smart Sapphire). Sapphire crystal is the first choice for high-end watches and is nearly as strong as diamond.
With people encouraged to pay via contactless wherever possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MuchBetter expects increased demand for innovative contactless payment options among the general public and watch manufacturers alike.
The MuchBetter watch can be used like any contactless payment card once the user has paired it to their MuchBetter wallet/app. Payments are made via the MuchBetter wallet which can be funded by smartphone, although wearers do not need to have their phone with them to make payments.
“Swiss made watches will always be the pinnacle of watch design, often passed down from generation to generation,” says MuchBetter cofounder Jens Bader. “People are loathed to give up their expertly crafted analogue watch in exchange for a smartwatch that may be obsolete in just a few years.
That’s why there’s such a big gap in the market for people who see the benefit of some adding some smart features like payments to their beloved analogue watch – especially now while contactless payments are not just highly convenient, but fundamental for public health.”
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