Given that consumers are currently being encouraged to pay “contactless” wherever possible due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, MuchBetter expects increased demand for innovative contactless payment options among the general public and watch manufacturers. Hence, the mobile payments company has teamed up with Swiss watch smart glass provider, Winwatch, to launch a unique analog payments steel watch that can make contactless payments thanks to technology hidden in its sapphire glass.
The creators of the project ensure that they have managed to eliminate the drawbacks of modern smartwatches, such as the need for regular charging, internet dependence, tech obsolescence, and bulky designs. Their device is to combine stylish appearance and features of a timeless luxury Swiss analog watches with a modern form of payment functionality.
According to MuchBetter, it is the first watch to use Winwatch’s “STISS (Swiss Technology Inside Smart Sapphire)” payments glass, a super-strong sapphire glass infused with payment technology. The contactless payment chip and antenna are hidden in a glass dial, and it works without battery.
The watch must be paired with a smartphone equipped with the MuchBetter application, but you do not need to have your phone with you when paying. Once paired, the technology allows the wearer to pay for items in stores where Mastercard contactless is accepted by holding their watch above a terminal just like any contactless payment card. You can pay with it in millions of retail or service outlets around the world.
The MuchBetter watch has a case with a diameter of 41 mm made of stainless steel, equipped with a rubber bracelet and is water-resistant to 50 meters.
“By combining our world-first STISS capabilities with MuchBetter’s best-in-class e-money solutions we have created a truly unique, affordable luxury product,” said Winwatch CEO Alex Kalbermatten. “With our STISS glass and its non-invasive and straightforward implementation, Winwatch is the perfect link between the watchmaking world and the new and increasing needs in the competition for the place on the wrist. As a next step we will also offer our STISS glasses to the world’s leading watch brand manufacturers”.
It is now available for the price of CHF 295 (about $305) with a 2-year Winwatch warranty.