Swatch Set to Join Mobile Payment Stakes This Summer

June 1, 2015         By: Steven Anderson

Swatch is not just about fashion anymore—though it’s certainly not ignoring it either—and official word has landed that the rumored smartwatch capable of making mobile payments will be launched this summer.

While there were a variety of reports about the device, the official word makes it a lot clearer about what we can expect from another entrant into the smartwatch market.

Reports suggest that, starting this summer, the new Swatch smartwatch will make an appearance in two countries, though which two are as yet unclear. Some note that the biggest markets for Swatch are the United States and China, so one of these two is likely. The one confirmed country, however, is Switzerland.

The exact nature of the watches is somewhat unclear. Some reports suggest that there could be two versions of the device coming out, including one with near-field communications (NFC) capabilities and one with more of a display mechanism for news and alerts tethered to a smartphone.

But regardless of what things look like when the end picture is completely filled in, one thing is clear: Swatch is going to have a tough time ahead of it.

Basically, Swatch is walking into the midst of a market that’s glutted with mobile payments options, and by the look of things, it’s not going to be walking into that market with anything particularly worthwhile to separate it from the pack.

That’s not a good sign, and it could well ultimately be a disaster for Swatch. Thankfully, though, there are still plenty of question marks around this release, and it’s entirely possible that the Swatch mobile payment play could have a few tricks up its sleeve that we have yet to see.

It will need every one of them it can muster, though, as this is a market with plenty of options, and with so many options, just being Swatch isn’t going to be near enough to break out potential users from already-entrenched market positions. It’s got to have something extra to take on the likes of Apple Pay’s massive user base and Apple Watch’s name recognition, Samsung Pay’s incredibly wide field of use without the need for agreements, or any of a host of other options that have first-mover advantage on Swatch.