Swiss watch giant Mondaine is set to smarten up its range of classic timepieces with new smart payment technology.
The company is working with Oberthur Technologies to embed an NFC chip into the strap of its watches, positioned either to the 12 o’clock position on the strap, or on the underside of the wrist.
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The Mondaine PayChip’s position on the strap is smarter than the wrist-breaking action required to place the Apple Watch’s screen onto a point of sale when using Apple Pay.
The initial rollout will be on the Mondaine Helvetica No.1 Smart, which has MotionX fitness tracking technology built inside, but by placing the tech into the strap, Mondaine will also be offering payments as an option on dumb watches in the future.
There is a downside, however. Mondaine has partnered with Swiss bank Cembra, which means you’ll need to apply for one of their credit cards to take advantage. Cembra does use MasterCard’s technology, so hopefully the ecosystem will open up in time, but at present it doesn’t seem like PayChip is set to make much of an impact.
Mondaine’s announcement comes off the back of a similar agreement with MasterCard and WIseKey, which is embedding its technology into Bulgari and Hublot watches.
And the Swiss have to do something. Smartwatch sales have already overtaken watches with the ‘Swiss made’ badge of horological honour.
Mondaine’s tech is set to be shown off at Baselworld 2016, where Wareable will be in attendance, reporting live from the show floor.