NFC stands for Near Field Communication and was first made popular by Nokia with its phones in the early 2000s. Back then it was just used to share files between two NFC-enabled devices. However, apart from sharing files, the NFC technology has various other usages, and making contactless payments is one among them.
The famous Tap and Pay feature also works on the same NFC technology. Using this feature you can pay at stores and cafes without touching anything. You just have to place your phone or card a few centimeters away from the POS machine and Voila! the transaction is successful.
In times of pandemic, the contactless payment feature can prove to be very helpful and can stop the spread of the virus, which is not possible through conventional payment methods. And therefore in this article, we bring to you the best NFC-enabled smartwatches that make payment on the go an easy affair.
Quick links to specific parts of the article
- Best Smartwatch With NFC Comparison Table
- Video For Best NFC Smartwatches
- Best NFC Enabled Smartwatches
- Buying Guide For The Best Smartwatches With NFC
Best Smartwatch With NFC Comparison Table
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Best Apple Watch With NFC
Apple Watch Series 7
Best Android Smartwatch With NFC
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Garmin Watch With NFC
Garmin Vivoactive 4
Cheap Smartwatch With NFC Payment
Fitbit Versa 3
Video For Best NFC Smartwatches
Best NFC Enabled Smartwatches
1. Apple Watch Series 7
The first NFC smartwatch on my list is Apple’s latest smartwatch offering. It is the Apple Watch Series 7 and like its predecessors, it also supports the Apple Pay feature using which you can pay for your purchases in a hassle-free manner.
This feature is available on all Apple smartwatches. However, before the Apple Watch Series 3, you could only add a maximum of 8 cards per device but now you can add up to 12 cards.
I found the adding and removing of cards to be a cakewalk on Apple Watch Series 7. I was able to add new cards using the Apple Pay app from my connected iPhone. However, I could use the watch itself to remove any card.
Other than the NFC capabilities, Apple Watch 7 also offers other premium features such as health monitoring, fitness tracking, cellular connectivity, etc. With cellular connectivity, I could use this watch as a standalone smartwatch, so apart from my wallet, I was also able to leave my phone at home.
Overall, if you are looking for a premium smartwatch with NFC that can help you travel cardless then this is the watch to consider. However, if you are an Android user then it’s not for you, but don’t worry we have other great options waiting for you in the latter part of the article.
2. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
The next NFC watch on my list is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.. It provides the same features and luxury that you would expect from an Apple watch.
However, this Samsung smartwatch does not work with iPhones. So if you own an iPhone then this is not the watch for you.
Talking of its NFC capabilities, Samsung Watch 4 can pay your bills even if you forget your phone or wallet at home. Moreover, it is easy to set up the payment feature on this watch. I could simply add and remove cards from Samsung Pay through its app on my smartphone.
However, while using it, I noticed that you must be on an active internet connection while adding or removing the card from your Samsung Pay account. But once the card is added, you don’t need an internet connection to make purchases using the watch at stores near you.
I found it to be very easy to pay using the Samsung Watch 4. All I had to do was long-press the button and the card got loaded on the screen. Then I had to take my watch near the contactless payment machine and it gave me 60 seconds to enter my pin and make the payment.
Overall for Android users, the Samsung Watch 4 is one of the best Android smartwatches with NFC if you are looking for an Apple smartwatch alternative with contactless payment.
To find out what else I like about Galaxy Watch 4 apart from its NFC feature, you may go through my review which I have done after using it for more than a month.
3. TicWatch Pro 3
If you are looking for a premium NFC smartwatch under $300 that also lets you pay bills on the go then TicWatch Pro 3 is the watch to consider. In terms of features, durability, and looks, TicWatch Pro 3 gives tough competition to Apple Watch Series 7 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.
Moreover, this smartwatch is compatible with iPhones as well as Android devices so you can set it up for contactless payment from either your Android smartphone or iPhone.
Also, the smartwatch uses the Google Pay platform for making payments. To add the card I had to sync the watch to my smartphone with Google Pay installed on it. After this, I could add any card to my account which then reflected on my watch for making purchases at the stores.
For security purposes, it has 3 lock options i.e. Pin, Password, and Patterns which you can set to prevent anyone from using your cards through your watch without your permission.
Overall, the TicWatch Pro 3 provides a seamless payment solution on the go and you can go with it if you like shopping a lot.
4. Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit brand is synonyms with fitness tracking brings you a smartwatch with advanced features such as heart rate monitoring, voice assistance, GPS, and whatnot. Among so many features there is one more advanced feature in this watch for which you are here and that is contactless payments.
This feature was first introduced in the Fitbit Ionic watch which was released in September 2017. But now you can find a built-in NFC chip in most of Fitbit’s latest smartwatches and fitness trackers.
To make payments, Fitbit uses its own payment system which is called Fitbit Pay (obviously). However, it doesn’t support all the banks out there yet. To check if your bank is supported by Fitbit Pay or not you can check their site.
If your bank is supported then you can definitely go with this Fitbit product. Using this watch to make payments is similar to all other smartwatches we have shared above. You have to add your credit/debit card to your Fitbit Pay account using the Fitbit app and you are ready to make payments on the go.
Overall, if you love to be fit and active then you can pick this Fitbit smartwatch over other products on this list. It will help you track your runs and also let you pay for water bottles when you feel exhausted while running.
5. Garmin Vivoactive 4
Vivoactive 4 is a sports watch from Garmin and is also among one of the cheapest Garmin smartwatches you could buy. Focused on sports activities you get plenty of built-in sports apps on the smartwatch that helps you train better for your game.
Apart from using sports apps, you can also make contactless payments on this smartwatch courtesy of its built-in NFC chip. However, to make the payments you must have your card added to your Garmin Pay account. You can set up the watch to make contactless payments from either your iPhone or Android smartphone.
At a time you can add up to 10 cards to your Garmin Pay account which is a great thing if you own cards from multiple banks. However, you have to check Garmin’s official website to see whether their payment platform supports your bank cards or not. Most probably you will find your bank on that list because Garmin Pay supports all the famous banks out there and it keeps adding more banks to its platform.
Overall, if you want a budget smartwatch with NFC that can train you for your favorite sports and at the same time let you pay your bills on the move then Garmin Vivoactive 4 is a watch to go for.
6. Fossil Gen 6
The next watch on my list of the best smartwatches with NFC is Fossil Gen 6. And I must say it is one of the best looking among all the watches on this list as well. Needless to say, it is one of the best Fossil smartwatches to date.
Like TicWatch Pro 3, the smartwatch operating system of this watch is Google’s Wear OS. Therefore the process of adding or removing cards is the same as TicWatch Pro 3.
You can use the Google Pay app on your smartphone to add and remove cards. Once you add or remove a card, it will then get reflected on your watch. To make payments, all you have to do is tap the upper right button and point your watch to the payment machine. The thing that I liked about Fossil Gen 6 is that it gives you the option to customize the functioning of the buttons. So if you want, you can use the lower button instead of the upper button to make payments.
This is also one of the smartwatches that come with Alexa built-in. It comes with a host of other smart features too that you can ask for from a smartwatch.
Overall, if you are looking for a smartwatch with contactless payment that looks good on your wrist then Fossil Gen 6 might be the watch for you.
7. Citizen CZ Smart
The last NFC smartwatch on my list is from a very well-known watch manufacturer i.e. Citizen. Like Galaxy Watch 4 and other smartwatches on this list, this watch also runs on Wear OS. So the card addition, deletion, and payment process are almost the same as other smartwatches. Therefore let me tell you about some of its other features.
This smartwatch has WiFi connectivity, so you can connect it to a WiFi network and use it without your cell phone. Since it runs on Wear OS, as a result, this smartwatch comes with Google Voice Assistant too.
This is also one of the smartwatches that has an inbuilt speaker & microphone. Therefore, you can talk to your loved ones directly from your watch. Also, you can listen to your favorite music tracks as this smartwatch supports Spotify as well.
Apart from these, it can:
- Track your sports activities
- Monitor your heart rate sleep
- Show you turn-by-turn navigation
- Receive cell phone notifications, and much more.
If you want a smartwatch that has it all and also lets you do contactless payments then you can definitely consider buying a Citizen CZ smartwatch.
Buying Guide For The Best Smartwatches With NFC
Buying a smartwatch with a contactless payments feature can be a great convenience for you if you happen to forget your wallet at home a lot of times. But, before buying an NFC smartwatch you must consider a few things, such as:
1. Bank Support
The first and most important thing that you must look at in an NFC smartwatch is whether it supports your bank cards or not. You can check the smartwatch’s official website for such information or a simple Google search will do the needful.
2. App Compatibility
You can only add a card to your payment platform through its phone app. So you have to check whether the payment app is compatible with your smartphone or not.
3. Other Features
You won’t buy a smartwatch just for making payments, you will definitely use it for other purposes as well. The other uses may include health monitoring, fitness tracking, answering calls, replying to text messages, etc. Based on what features you use most in your daily life you can pick an NFC-enabled smartwatch that has those features.
Is Contactless Payment Safe?
Yes, NFC payments are totally safe. They use different security protocols to ensure a secure transaction.
How Do I Use NFC On My Smartwatch?
To use NFC for making payments on the go you must add a card to your smartwatch through their particular phone apps.
Can NFC Smartwatch Be Hacked?
Just like anything on the digital platform, NFC can also be hacked. But don’t worry you get password protection on your smartwatch to safeguard anyone from using your watch for making payments without you knowing.
Can I Pay Through My Watch Without My Phone?
Yes, once your cards are added you can make payments from your watch without your phone.