The Xiaomi brand recently introduced a very interesting smart watch Xiaomi Watch S1 Active, which have the long - awaited feature to support NFC payments via Xiaomi Pay. It is also available in Europe, so we can enjoy payments in our watches in Slovakia.
Only two supported Slovak banks
At the time of writing, Xiaomi Pay currently only displays one supported Slovak bank, which is mBank. To make matters worse, only cards issued by Mastercard are supported, so you won't go with Visa. He informs about it too bank website.
You can also verify this directly in the Mi Fitness application, which is needed to pair the Xiaomi S1 Active watch with a smartphone. The list of supported banks is available by clicking the Add button in the Xiaomi Pay menu. But there is one very important option that is service Curves, about which we will talk more.
At the time of writing, we have found that in addition to mBank, you can also use Mastercard cards from Primabanka, even if it is not on the list of supported banks in the Mi Fitness application. You can also find official information directly from the bank on their site.
As the portal informed Živé.sk, with the support of the Xiaomi Pay service, it does not look too rosy in Slovakia. Tatra Banka and VUB do not currently plan to launch support for this service. 365 banka has accepted a reassessment if it finds interest in its clients and Slovenská sporiteľňa has not ruled out the start of this service, but is currently focusing on other solutions.
UniCredit and Fio banka did not specify their plans, and only ČSOB was the only bank to state that it plans to implement this solution in the long term.
The solution to support all cards and banks is the Curve service
Curve is a relatively unknown concept in our region. It is a British payment service that aggregates several cards under one, its own. In other words, under the Curve account, to which you also receive a standard payment card, we can add several cards from different companies and banks, which we then pay with the Curve card.
It aggregates several cards, so you have the choice of which card to pay with. Under the Curve card, we can add, for example, our Visa card from Tatra Banka or ČSOB, we will attach a Curve card to the terminal in the store, but the funds will be withdrawn from our card from ČSOB.
We can also add a Revolut card to Curve, for example, and in another store where we also pay with a Curve card, our money will be withdrawn from our Revolut account. Which card we choose for payments in the Curve application will be used.
The advantage is that we do not have to carry all the cards with us. We only need one, the one from Curve, which is also supported by Xiaomi Pay. In this way, we avoid the impossibility of adding cards from our Slovak banks.
The first step is to create an account. You will need an application for your smartphone to do this. The application is available in Google Play, AppStore and AppGallery for Huawei.
We first chose our country of origin (Slovakia) and then we entered our phone number, which we received a verification code. The next step is to enter an email address to which you will also receive a verification email. The registration continues by creating a four-digit PIN code, which you enter twice to verify the correctness.
Then you fill in personal data such as name, surname, date of birth and enter your address. Here we came across a peculiarity, which is a mandatory field for the name of the building and its number. Without filling in this information, you will not get to the next step. We entered the street name and apartment number here, as well as in the next address field, and we had no problem verifying or delivering the card.
In the next step you will choose the type of job. We chose the Employee option. Next comes the addition of your card, where you enter the card number, your name and other information, similar to when you go to pay by card over the Internet.
The last step is verification of identity, which consists of uploading one of the personal documents and subsequent verification. You can easily take pictures of the document with your smartphone from both sides and verification is very fast. Within minutes, we had the application ready to use.
Curve card and its connection with Xiaomi Pay
The new Curve account also includes a physical payment card, which we received in about 10 days by mail. However, you will find the card details such as its number, expiration date and CVV code immediately in the application, so you do not have to wait for the physical card.
You can easily add it to the Mi Fitness application in the Xiaomi Pay menu by clicking on the Add Card button. The application asks for card details, similar to paying with a card in e-shops. In order to pay with your own card, you need to add it to the Curve app. You can also add multiple tabs to switch between as needed.
While adding the card, Curve will temporarily block 0.95 EUR in your account as a verification payment, which will not be made and you will get your money back. We added Visa cards from Revolut and ČSOB to Curve, as well as a Mastercard credit card from ČSOB. Curve does not yet support the Ticket Restaurant meal card.
Unfortunately, the application is only in English, similar to the Xiaomi Pay service in the Mi Fitness application, but the complete basics are enough for you to add a card and register.
How to pay with a watch?
As we have already mentioned in ours reviews on Xiaomi Watch S1 Active, paying by watch via NFC is very simple. In the main menu, just look for the wallet icon, which symbolizes the payment.
Then a tab will appear on the watch screen and the 60-second countdown will begin. Until then, you must attach the watch to the payment terminal.
Security of payments
If you're worried that your watch might be stolen or misused by accidentally attaching the terminal, you don't have to worry. The payment option is active only if you select a payment from the watch menu and is automatically deactivated when you attach it to the terminal.
After removing the watch from your hand, ie possible theft, the thief will not get payment, because every time you try to unlock the watch, you must enter a 6-digit PIN code, which you set in the Mi Fitness application when adding the card to the application.
As for Curve, you simply have to trust it if you want to use watch payments. The company was founded in 2015 in the UK and has several hundred thousand users worldwide.