Gadget review: Watch 2 Pay

I STILL can’t believe how long it takes to pay for things. Enter your pin, wait 10-15 seconds, wait for the receipt to print out, take the receipt and then finally you’re free.

OK, admittedly that doesn’t sound that bad, but at a busy bar on a Saturday night it can seem like ages and every second counts on my lunchtime trip to Starbucks. There’s really no excuse for it either; contactless payment is already the norm in South Korea and Japan, and it’s the same technology that’s used in London’s Oyster Card - swipe your mobile phone or credit card over a Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled credit card reader and small transactions can be made in seconds.

Watch 2 Pay are jumping on this swipe-and-run bandwagon with their new NFC enabled timepiece. The watch itself, which is available in a rainbow of colours, is well made, although some might find its minimalist design slightly dull. What distinguishes it from a normal watch is the hatch on the left side into which a Sim-card-sized chip fits.

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In the box, you’ll find a standard-sized MasterCard PayPass prepaid card along with the pop-and-go chip for the watch. Two ways to pay, I suppose, in case you leave your watch at home.

Activating the PayPass card involves a quick and painless trip to the manufacturer’s website and it can be topped-up online in seconds with swipes limited to a £15 maximum transaction value.

There’s no doubt that the number of “swipeable” locations is growing. As of last September there were more than 75,000 outlets in places like Pret A Manger, Eat, Subway, Orange, Lakeland, McDonalds, WH Smith and Boots. However, that’s still not enough places to avoid looking like a complete moron, swiping your watch like a light sabre in front of a bemused checkout attendant.

I’m also not prepared to shell out a hundred quid on a watch that enables me to spend my own money. Call me old-fashioned, but I think some things should be free.

Watch 2 Pay

£99 from