Important I am not affiliated with Timex and this is my personal experience. I am not paid by Timex or any of the companies mentioned in the review. If you find this helpful had success and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee or take a look at my book on Amazon. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!
What is Timex Pay?
Timex Pay is a contactless payment solution, that works with existing traditional watches, and it comes from the Timex Watch company.
Timex has a good pedigree in the watch space, they are a US watch company, have been around since 1854, and their headquarters is in Connecticut USA. Honestly, Timex makes beautiful and affordable watches and it’s worth adding one to your collection.
Timex Pay is not a watch (although they do sell watches that already have the Timex Pay watchband), it’s actually a watch band with a contactless payment chip built into the band. It’s technically not making your watch a smartwatch, but it does mean you can use contactless payments with any watch. Timex Pay works anywhere that accepts Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, etc.
The Timex Pay watchbands come in 2 sizes, 20mm and 18mm. This means it fits most, not all watches. If you’re not sure, measure the distance between the lugs on your watch before you buy. See the picture below for a helpful guide. If your watch band is larger than 20mm, then Timex Pay is probably not for you (sorry) but here’s hoping they extend the range.
Timex Pay bands come in leather (black and brown), fabric, and black silicon. Only the black leather and black silicon are available on Amazon, the others you need to buy from Timex. Worth knowing, the black silicon band is only available in 20mm. All the bands have the Timex quick-release feature, so you can just get one band and switch between watches as the mood suits you. I have searched around, but outside of Amazon and Timex, the Timex Pay watches and bands are not available at other stores (yet).
If you haven’t already picked up a Timex Pay watchband, they’re available from Amazon for US$50. Or spend an extra $100 and get a Timex Watch with Timex Pay (the Timex Navi XL is on my wishlist).
Timex Pay Trivia
The underlying technology is made by a company called Tappy Tech. Going through the TappyTech website they seem to be at the forefront of Smart Bands and even have a band with biometrics. So technically, there’s no reason why other manufacturers couldn’t adopt Timex Pay as a standard. That said, Timex deserves to be applauded and congratulated for showing some initiative in adopting the technology.
What’s in the Timex Pay Watchband Box
Sorry, no Timex Pay unboxing video yet. But here’s what’s in the box.
- the Timex Pay watchband (or the watch+band if that’s what you bought)
- the Timex Pay reader/writer (called the Timex Pay UPPU clip)
- a USB cable for using the Timex Pay UPPU reader/writer
Note: The USB cable is needed to power the UPPU ready only for initial setup, you do not need to charge the band.
Don’t panic or get confused, you don’t need to charge the Timex Pay watchband, the UPPU clip is not for that. The fact that Timex Pay never needs to be charged is part of the awesome magic of Timex Pay. What’s a UPPU clip? It stands for Universal Passive Provisioning Unit and it programs the watchband (read on),
The Timex Pay band looks the same as any standard watch band, except for a marker on the inner strap for aligning the UPPU clip. See below.
Setting up Timex Pay
- Download the free Timex Pay app for your device.
- Register and setup a new Timex Pay account. Then login to the app.
- Tap the plus icon (lower right).
- Make sure the Timex Pay UPPU clip is connected to power (laptop USB is OK).
- Pair the Timex Pay UPPU clip to your phone, makes sure the Timex Pay has permissions to access Bluetooth.
- Clip the Timex Pay UPPU clip to your Timex Pay watch band.
- Follow the on-screen instructions, this process will pair the band to your Timex Pay account. Worth noting here, that’s what the pairing is, you’re not pairing the band to your phone, your pairing the band to your account so you can program it with your card.
- Now you can add your Chase debit or credit card, so click Add Card.
- Fill in your card details, click next. There are a few more security steps to verify you’re the cardholder.
- You’re done!
So what’s happening in all of this? The UPPU Clip that you connect to your band makes a tokenized virtual clone of your card. It’s the only time your need Bluetooth for the Timex Pay app. After this, there’s no need for power, data, or Bluetooth again.
Review of Timex Pay
It’s hard to fault Timex Pay as a contactless payment solution. Outside of notifications, payments are the next most common use of a smartwatch. So having contactless payments on any traditional watch is a huge win for Timex Pay. And if you want notifications, you can pick up a cheap fitness band (like a MiBand) for about $30 and you’re all set.
Timex Pay only supports one payment card at a time. This is because technically, what you’re doing is programming as a tokenized virtual copy of your credit or debit card. Timex Pay is (currently) limited only to cards from Chase. This is probably the biggest limitation and I am hoping Timex gets other US banks onboard soon. The underlying technology for the payments does work with Mastercard and Visa cards, but not Amex.
Where does Timex Pay work?
- anywhere Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay works
- contactless payments on the New York subway and New York buses
- basically everywhere…
What’s to love about Timex Pay is you don’t need to be tethered to your phone. It doesn’t need Bluetooth, data, etc. you just tap and go. If it supported more banks (please) it would be perfect. That said, being able to tap and go on the New York subway is a win.
I also love that you don’t have to charge the Time Pay watchband. It’s just so liberating not having to worry about plugging your watch in each night. This makes Timex Pay awesome compared to any other solution out there.
As for security, the Timex Pay band is as safe and secure as other contactless payment solutions. If you lose the band, not sure how or why you could – but let’s say you take your watch off at the gym and it gets stolen, you can disable the card from within the Timex Pay app.
If there’s something I haven’t covered, Timex publishes a useful list of Timex Pay FAQs here.
Overall, Timex Pay is the closest you will get to make your traditional watch a smartwatch. At US$50 Timex Pay is affordable. If you’re a Chase debit or credit banking customer (which is the only bank currently supported) and if you love traditional watches as much as I do, Timex Pay is worth the investment.
If you’re after notification alerts, then Timex Pay is not for you, but as of writing, there are not really any real alternatives from a reputable manufacturer (outside of Sony Wena which is only in Japan). Or do as I do, get a cheap fitness tracker, and have the best of both worlds.
A pro tip, if you’re buying Timex Pay online and not from Timex, just be careful. Some stores sell the Timex watches but they do not yet come with the Timex Pay band. Also, if the Timex watchband is under $25, it’s just a standard Timex watchband.
Here’s hoping Timex Pay takes off and has a lot of success.
Reminder I am not affiliated with Timex and this is my personal experience. I am not paid by Timex or any of the companies mentioned in the review. If you find this helpful had success and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee or take a look at my book on Amazon. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!