Australian carrier Optus announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this month that it has partnered with wearables firm Connected Device and Visa to develop a smartwatch that will allow users to access its Cash by Optus payments platform without requiring an NFC-enabled Android phone.
"The new smartwatch will sync with the Cash By Optus app on any bluetooth-enabled smart device, bringing the service to all makes of smartphone, including iPhones and Windows Phones," wrote Power Retail's Sam Gopal (March 5). "It also means people with older mobile handsets that aren’t NFC-enabled can use it. A payments terminal will recognise a tap of the Optus watch and print a receipt, while the watch sends an electronic receipt back to the phone where it’s stored in the app."
Optus wanted an NFC-enabled watch of its own, to compete with the Apple Watch.
Optus has not set a price for the device, which is set for release by the end of 2015. The company says it will offer typical smartwatch features like time, calendar, message and call notifications, fitness tracking, activity monitoring. It has a real watch face, not a touchscreen, as well as a rubber watch strap that is interchangeable with any strap of the same size.
Optus is likely developing this watch to compete with the Apple Watch, which will release April 24, because the latter only supports the Apple Pay payments system.