bPay, the contactless payment system from Barclays, has announced partnerships with a total of seven watch brands that will see its payment chip embedded in myriad watches and fitness trackers.
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The partnered watch brands include: Timex, Guess, Suunto, LBS, Mondaine, Kronaby and Adexe. By partnering with these brands, it means you can make reap all the benefits of contactless payments, but from a regular, analogue watch, so you don't have to invest in a smartwatch if you're not going to use the other features.
Barclays and bPay already has a partnership with Timex, with the Fairfield Contactless watch model already being available for £150, but Timex will now release a further eight watches with the bPay chip embedded from May. Guess Watches will release six models for men and women later this year, along with silicone and leather straps with the bPay chip embedded that can be added to some of Guess' best-selling models.
Suunto will release a refreshed version of the 3 Fitness watch that launched in January this year, while strap manufacturer LBS will launch a wide range of 'TapStraps' that can be added to any watch with an interchangeable strap in 18mm, 20mm and 22mm sizes.
Barclays says contactless payments made via bPay jumped 129 per cent year-on-year in 2017, so thought it high time to roll the technology out to more watches to increase its customer base.
bPay is incredibly simple to set up, you need to register the chip with the smartphone app - available for iOS and Android - and your current account, and then you can either choose how much money you want to load onto the chip, or set it to auto top up.
Adam Herson, Business Development Director, Barclays Mobile Payments said: "Consumer appetite for wearable payments is reaching critical mass, and we’re proud to be meeting this growing demand with the help of our industry-leading partners."
"Thanks to the range of products these agreements will bring to market, customers will be able to buy a watch or fitness tracker that not only suits their taste, but also unlocks benefits of speed and ease in everyday purchases."