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Swedish Watchmaker Brings NFC Payments to Its Smart Watches

Kronaby's Hybrid Smartwatch incorporates technologies from Fidesmo and STMicroelectronics that enable contactless payments, with access control and other functions slated for further use cases.
By Claire Swedberg

A user can set up credentials in the watch by inputting his or her MasterCard account information and a password into a mobile phone. That data is then tokenized and sent to the watch via a Bluetooth connection. An individual can input the information he or she considers most important. "In order to set up the watch and make it yours," Morän states, "it's of the essence to have an intuitive, nice-looking app that consumers understand, since we sell Hybrid Smartwatches for everyone."

Once the MasterCard account is linked to the watch, the user can begin making payments for store purchases with his or her watch. There are a growing number of NFC-enabled payment systems deployed at European stores that could read the watch's chip, Eld reports. In fact, there is a mandate in Europe that all point-of-sale devices accept NFC payments by January 2020. "We are already at about 50 percent in Sweden," he says.

STMicroelectronics' Lionel Ravel
The system begins with a single financial service provider, Eld notes, though he adds, "We're not just about MasterCard—we want to be a hub to connect to other services," whether users make payments from a variety of accounts, access restricted areas or redeem coupons. "I think that's something the market wants as well."

The STPay-Boost chips are now being used in a sample version. According to the company, the ICs are expected to be available in full production this month at a price of $3.50 each, in orders of 1,000 pieces or more.

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