Swatch VISA pay-by-wrist release date tapped for early 2016

VISA announces with Swatch that they'll be doing a sort of team-up effort in the not-so-smartwatch business. They'll be rolling with NFC in the strap of the watch line Swatch Bellamy. This has to do with an author by the name of Edward Bellamy who wrote a novel in 1888 by the name of "Looking Backward 2000-1887". This novel envisioned "a utopian world in which cash has been replaced by credit/debit cards," the first recorded mention of such a technology.

Forty years after that novel, other authors and innovation groups began envisioning the future in which cash would go the way of the Dodo. Swatch announces its first smartwatch, aimed at beach volleyball Instead we'd have cards that'd contain all the information needed to transfer money from one place to another. Now we're getting even smaller – keeping that information, or a link to that information at least – in a tiny chip inside the band of a watch.

While Swatch won't be the first company to release a watch that'll be able to help you pay for your lunch, they are pushing the envelope to some degree by centering on NFC. NFC in a non-smart watchband, that is.

There'll be a built-in NFC chip under the dial of the watch, allowing the watch to enact a payment without requiring any energy from its battery. The NFC chip acts alone.

The watch you're seeing here is indeed the Swatch Bellamy, first shown to the world in October of this year in China. You'll find this watch released in several regions in early 2016: the United States, Switzerland, and Brazil for starters. Pricing and specific retailer information is not yet known.