Posted on 02/13/2019 at 08:00
Traditional watches made smart with Sony and Wirecard's digital payment technology
Fast contactless payment via Wirecard's boon mobile payment app
- With the latest digital technology all in a smart watch strap, wena incorporates speedy contactless payment, advanced fitness tracking and direct link-ups for phone notifications into a luxury timepiece design
Sony launches the wena watch range in the UK and Ireland, bringing traditional watchmaking into the 21st century, truly modernizing the luxury of timekeeping. Amongst other features, the new watch bands utilize NFC technology to give wearers the ability to make contactless payments with just a tap of the wrist – a simpler, faster and safer way to make day-to-day transactions for those with a busy lifestyle. Wirecard will be the launch issuer. Using Wirecard’s boon app for iOS and Android, customers will be able to add a virtual card to the wena app and set up automatic top ups, providing a simple way for everyone to access funds, no matter who they bank with.
Georg von Waldenfels, Executive Vice President Group Business Development at Wirecard, said, “The cooperation between Wirecard and Sony combines the best of two worlds by tracking your activities and making mobile payments by connecting your boon app with a fashionable smart wearable. This brings a whole new lifestyle aspect to the market for mobile payments, which is currently experiencing strong growth worldwide, and this is why we are delighted to be among the first launch partners for Sony wena. Our customers can now use their digital boon app to track their spending, make peer-to-peer and online payments plus use their favorite wearable at the point of sale – without having to take their physical wallet with them. These benefits for consumers of being able to pay with their smart device and boon mean a new level of freedom in everyday life.”
The wena watch has been created by a new business development program within Sony, known as the Seed Acceleration Program (SAP). Launched in April 2014, the scheme encourages innovation and provides the opportunity for its employees to propose and create new ideas to support current Sony business operations and beyond.
wena stands for “Wear Electronics Naturally” and the strap has been designed exactly with this in mind. The interchangeable nature of the watch allows the technology to be isolated to the clasp of the watch strap, rather than being linked to the face. The design of the watch not only allows the wearer to choose any watch face, but it makes everyday activities easier to do. For example, when making payments with the watch, there is no need for the wearer to twist their wrist to tap the face onto the terminal, which many find uncomfortable and unnatural – instead it can all be done with one simple, easy movement.
Caroline Casey, Mastercard’s Vice President, Innovation, Partnerships and Labs, Europe, said, “Working with partners to bring innovative, safe and secure payments to consumers is at the heart of our strategy. Sony’s wena watch embodies this by delivering smart functionality to all those consumers who favor a classical timepiece, with latest contactless paytech alongside style and mechanical precision.”
Gregor Klezin, Director of Global Mobile Payment Solutions, NXP Semiconductors, said, “There couldn’t be a better example than Sony’s new wena bands to prove how any device can be a payment device with this first true end-to-end mobile wallet solution, the NXP mWallet 2GO. Sony and NXP successfully completed the challenge to allow for new form factors in mobile payments while ensuring high-level device security at all times.”
The smart watch strap also provides wearers with phone notifications including calls, mail and app notifications with a one or two-line display. What’s more, notifications can be customized using the 7-coloured LED lighting and vibration, giving the wearer greater control of how the watch communicates with them.
The strap is also perfect for those on a fitness push, logging steps and calories burned, whilst the wena wrist active version also comes complete with GPS tracking and heart-rate sensors.
The strap is available in two styles – metal and silicone. The range also comes complete with watch faces designed to match perfectly with the watch straps. Sony has worked with some of the finest Swiss watchmakers in the market to ensure premium quality.
The new wena watch range is available to pre-order in the UK and Ireland now.
The full press release can be found in the Sony Press Center: