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News in-depth: Watch fans could buy model with contactless payment technology
6 Dec 2011

People who like wristwatches could add a new function to the traditional timekeeping device if they purchase a model that has contactless payment technology built in.

LAKS and Vincento have teamed up to create Watch2pay, which has MasterCard PayPass functionality and can be used to pay for goods in transactions worth up to £15.

As many as 70,000 retailers will offer machines capable of reading the devices, meaning shoppers will not even have to carry a wallet of a mobile phone to pay for purchases.

MasterCard Europe spokesperson Matt Lanford said it offers "consumers a safe, simple and smart way to pay for everyday items".

Watches with contactless payment technology are already in use in Turkey, Poland and some parts of Asia, so it is hoped their success will be built upon in the UK.

The companies also intend for Watch2pay to capitalise on the demand for alternative payment methods to cash in Britain.

Users of the watches top them up with eMoney on the internet using a special smart card, so they are great for budgeting too, as it will not be possible to go over a set limit.

It was recently announced that contactless payment technology is to be brought in at the O2 Arena so that visitors can pay for snacks and other items using their phones, or perhaps even their watches.

Visa and Barclaycard explained that it should significantly cut queuing and prevent people from missing the acts they go to see.

Meanwhile, coffee enthusiasts may be pleased to know that Starbucks is another company that recently said it intends to bring in contactless payment, which will launch on January 5th 2012.

People using busy town centre outlets or kiosks on railway platforms may benefit especially, as they will not have to wait so long for beverages and will no longer have to juggle loose change as they try to pay and grab their drinks.

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