swatch pay switzerland questions answers faq
Telecom

Swatch Pay in Switzerland FAQ

November 24, 2022 - Ralf Beyeler

Find answers to the most important questions about Swatch Pay from Swiss watch maker Swatch in this moneyland.ch guide.

Swatch Pay, the digital wallet from Swiss watch manufacturer Swatch, is one of several options now available in Switzerland for making payments using wristwatches.

In this guide, independent online comparison service moneyland.ch answers key questions about Swiss digital wallet SwatchPAY!

1. Which watches are compatible with Swatch Pay?

So far, Swatch Pay only works with a few select Swatch watches. All Swatch models which include the word pay in their names work with Swatch Pay.

2. Which Swiss payments cards support Swatch Pay?

In order to use Swatch Pay, you must first link it to a credit card or prepaid card. Many Swiss credit card issuers support Swatch Pay, including Bonuscard, Cembra Money Bank, Cornèrcard, Postfinance, Migros Bank (including the Cumulus credit card), Raiffeisen, Swiss Bankers, Swisscard, Topcard (including the Coop Supercard credit card), UBS and Viseca (including credit cards from cantonal and regional banks, Bank Cler, and Valiant).

You can easily find all Swiss credit cards and prepaid cards which are compatible with Swatch Pay by selecting the Swatch pay filter in the interactive credit card comparison on moneyland.ch.

3. Do I need a smartphone to use Swatch Pay?

You do not need to carry a phone with you to use Swatch Pay. You only need an eligible wristwatch. However, a smartphone is required for the initial activation and setup, as well as for subsequent changes (changing the linked credit card, for example).

4. How do I activate Swatch Pay?

The activation process for Swatch Pay requires more effort than that of some other digital wallets. In order to use Swatch Pay, you must first download the Swatch Pay app and create an account.

After that, you have to activate Swatch Pay on your Swatch wristwatch. This can be done in two different ways:

  • You can visit a Swatch store or a partner store (currently Manor, Globus, Jelmoli) to have the watch activated. However, not all Swatch, Manor, Globus and Jelmoli stores are equipped to handle Swatch Pay activations. You can find more information on the activation process on the Swatch website.
  • If your phone is equipped with NFC, you can activate your watch yourself using the mobile app.

Swatch Pay must be reactivated on your Swatch watch every 37 months when the tokenized card information expires.

5. Can I freeze Swatch Pay if my watch is lost or stolen?

Yes, you can disable and reenable Swatch Pay at any time using the Swatch Pay app.

6. How do I make payments with Swatch Pay?

Paying with Swatch Pay is easy. Swatch Pay uses NFC technology just like tap and go payment cards. Just hold your watch near the point of sale (POS) terminal to make payments of up to 80 francs without entering a PIN.

To make payments above 80 francs, you have to enter your PIN at the POS terminal.

7. Do I have to authenticate payments?

The authentication rules for Swatch Pay are identical to those which apply to using contactless credit cards or debit cards directly. No authentication is required for payments of up to 80 francs. Payments in excess of 80 francs must be authenticated by entering a PIN.

8. What are the requirements for using Swatch Pay?

In order to use Swatch Pay, you need an iPhone or an Android-powered phone on which to load the app. You also need a credit card or prepaid card from a Swiss or foreign card issuer which has a partnership with Swatch.

9. Where can I pay with Swatch Pay?

You can use Swatch Pay to pay at any POS terminal which accepts NFC (contactless) payments and Mastercard or Visa. That means you can use Swatch Pay to pay at most merchants in Switzerland.

You can also use Swatch Pay outside of Switzerland at any POS terminals which meet the above criteria. Note that there are currently countries in which NFC payments are not widely accepted.

10. Can I use Swatch Pay to pay online?

No. Currently Swatch Pay can only be used at brick-and-mortar businesses with NFC-enabled POS terminals.

11. How much does using Swatch Pay cost?

Swatch does not charge you a fee when you use Swatch Pay. Only the fees charged by the issuer of the linked card apply, which means you do not pay any more than you would if you used your card directly.

12. How much does it cost to use Swatch Pay outside of Switzerland?

You do not pay an additional foreign transaction fee when you use Swatch Pay to pay for purchases outside of Switzerland. You only pay your card issuer’s foreign transaction fee and currency exchange costs just as you would when you use your card outside of Switzerland.

It is important to understand that using credit cards outside of Switzerland (with or without Swatch Pay) can be expensive. In addition to the foreign transaction fee, you also pay a markup on currency exchange rates.

13. Do I earn rewards when I use Swatch Pay?

If your credit card or prepaid card rewards you for purchases charged, you also earn these rewards when you charge purchases to your card via Swatch Pay. This applies to points, miles and cash back rewards.

14. How secure is Swatch Pay?

Your actual credit card information is not stored on your Swatch watch, and is not shared with or stored by merchants.

Swatch Pay uses tokenization. That means a token card number is generated and saved in your digital wallet in place of your actual card number, and only this token is used in transactions or stored by merchants.
If your watch is lost or stolen, you can delete the token in the app to prevent any fraudulent transactions. You do not need to freeze your actual card account.

15. What are the advantages of Swatch Pay?

Making payments using a wristwatch is much quicker and more convenient than having to handle a mobile phone or payment card.

Another advantage is that you can use Swatch Pay to pay at any merchant which accepts NFC payments and Mastercard or Visa.    

16. What are the disadvantages of Swatch Pay?

The biggest disadvantage of Swatch Pay is that the process of setting up your account and activating your watch is relatively complex.

Another disadvantage is that Swatch pay only works with a limited number of Swatch models.

The fact that not all Swiss credit cards and prepaid cards are currently compatible with Swatch Pay is another disadvantage.

17. How popular is Swatch Pay in Switzerland?

Like other wristwatch-based digital wallets, Swatch Pay is not yet widely used in Switzerland. The 2022 Swiss Payments Survey by moneyland.ch reveals that only 6% of residents have used Swatch Pay at least once.

More on this topic:
Interactive Swiss credit card comparison

Request now for free

Leading credit cards

Free credit card

Swisscard Cashback Cards Amex

  • No annual fees

  • Two cards Amex & Visa/Mastercard

  • With cash back

Free credit card

Migros Cumulus Visa

  • No annual fees

  • With Cumulus points

  • Without foreign currency fees

Swiss credit cards in comparison

Find the cheapest credit card now

Compare now
Request now for free

Cheap bank accounts with card

Free bank account

Yuh

  • No account fees

  • Banking partner: Swissquote & Postfinance

  • CHF 20 trading credit with code «YUHMONEYLAND»

Swiss digital bank

Alpian

  • Multi-currency account with Visa card (CHF, EUR, USD, GBP)

  • Favorable foreign exchange rates

  • CHF 100 welcome bonus

Online private account

UBS key4

  • 50 KeyClub points as a welcome gift

  • Online private account with debit card

Trading platforms

Brokers with low fees

Swiss Broker

Saxo Bank Switzerland

  • Swiss online bank

  • Favorable prices stock trading

  • High account interest rates

Swiss Broker

Cornèrtrader

  • Swiss online bank

  • No custody fees for stocks

  • Free market research and trading signals

Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at moneyland.ch and also covers other areas of personal finance.
Free subscription

Sign up for the free newsletter

Subscribe now
more than 3 million pieces of data

Find all comparisons here

Go to comparisons