Timex Pay – Chase That?

Timex contactless pay - email

Regular readers may recall that I bitch slapped SWATCHPay! Their contactless pay plastic fantastic art watches don’t impress me much. Timex Pay takes the concept and runs with it, solving two major problems associated with the Swiss system . . .

Timex Pay watches

First, Timex Pay is available right-now-this-second to United States’ citizens (SWATCHPay! launched in Switzerland, and stayed there). That’s as long as said citizens have a Chase Visa debit or credit card.

A quick scan of credit card comparison websites reveals they’re all pretty much a scam. The comparison websites I mean. In terms of interest rates and rewards, Chase’s plastic is about as good or bad as any other major bank card. Anyway, the other improvement . . .

Strap

Timex Pay works though an RFID chip embedded in the watch band, not via an antenna hiding in the watch case (a la SWATCHPay!). Timex’s system doesn’t need batteries – assuming you buy the Marlin Automatic.

As you can see by the hat tip on the watch strap, Tappy Tech provides the “wearable token service” technology behind Timex’s “smart” watch bands. As Tappy’s partners include Bank of America and Citibank, Timex is highly likely to spread the contactless love to other banks’ customers.

Timex Pay watch bands

Timex currently offers six Timex Pay watches with the smart straps. Surprisingly, or strategically, the American-owned Chinese-reliant watchmaker’s also selling the straps separately.

You can put a Timex Pay band onto any [spring bar enabled] watch with a 20mm strap/lug width. Buy one of 10 Tappy-fied Timex straps for 50 bucks, fit it to your fave compatible timepiece and call it good.

Timex Pay in action

Set-up and operation is simple enough. You download the Timex Pay app (Apple or Android), pair it with the band and Bob’s your uncle. To buy stuff, you wave your TP-enabled watch band over the contactless pay doo-hickey at checkout.

Timex Pay app

The app provides the usual list of purchases – time, place, amount. The charges also appear on your normal credit card statement. Tappy’s tokenization system prevents hacking. If you lose your watch, you can kill the Timex Pay link from your phone.

The central question about Timex Pay: who needs it? Well, no one needs it. Are we really at the point where we’d buy a new watch – or re-equip an old one – to avoid the “hassle” of retrieving our card from our wallet/purse/murse? To reduce time-to-pay? Talk about first world problems . . .

Timex Pay watches last two

Then again, COVID has raised germ wariness to new heights. Keeping your wallet hidden is an excellent way to reduce the risk of pickpockets. And you’re a lot less likely to lose your watch than your wallet. So you heard it here first: it’s a hit. Eventually. Maybe.

4 comments

  1. I’m skeptical of almost everything, but this doesn’t seem totally stupid to me. I prefer it to being implanted with a chip, that’s for sure.

  2. I’ll pass. First, I don’t trust it. Secondly, I don’t trust it.

    Thirdly, I’d have to wear that watch / band all the time. I have many watches in my “rotation.”

    If you’re a one-watch person, it might be convenient… if you trust it.

    I’m not averse to “whipping out” my card. I’m also not worried about “contact.”

    Speaking of contact… with the “contactless” RFID approach, do you not have to still enter a PIN at the point of purchase? There’s your contact. Of course, someone touched your merchandise or food before you take it. Soooooooo…

    1. I’m more of a cash money brother, but I believe the chip cards don’t require signature or other verification as the RFID signal implies physical possession of the card. I’m not exactly paranoid about people cloning them, but it is funny that there are ads for the goofy Faraday cage wallets for people that think thieves will scan their butts as they walk around, while other people are fine with having said chip on their watch band,

    2. I have it, and used it few times; no PIN needed period, I am a watch collector myself, the easy release spring bar makes it simple to put the band on your chosen watch in your rotation.

Leave a Reply