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 the payment on the go an easy affair.
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Best Smartwatch With NFC Comparision Table
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Apple Watch Series 6
Best Android Smartwatch With NFC
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Garmin Vivoactive 3
5 Best NFC Enabled Smartwatches
1. Apple Watch Series 6
Let’s start the list with Apple’s latest smartwatch offering. It is the Apple Watch Series 6 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.
Adding and removing cards is also a cakewalk on Apple Watch Series 6. To add new cards you can use the Apple Pay app from the connected iPhone. However, you can use the watch itself to remove any card.
Other than the NFC capabilities, Apple Watch 6 also offers other premium features such as health monitoring, fitness tracking, cellular connectivity, etc. With cellular connectivity, you can use this watch as a standalone smartwatch, so apart from your wallet, you can also leave your phone at home.
Overall, if you are looking for a premium smartwatch 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 later part of the article.
2. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is for Android users what Apple Watch 6 is for iPhone users. It provides the same features and luxury that you would expect from an Apple watch. However, unlike Apple Watch the Samsung smartwatch works well with both iPhone and Android smartphones, which is its added advantage.
Talking of its NFC capabilities, Samsung Watch 3 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. You can simply add and remove cards from Samsung Pay through its app on the connected smartphone.
But remember 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.
It’s also very easy to pay using the Samsung Watch 3. You just have to long-press the button and the card will load on the screen. Then you have to take your watch near the contactless payment machine and it will give you 60 seconds to enter your pin and make the payment.
Overall for Android users, the Samsung Watch 3 is the best Android smartwatch with NFC if you are looking for an Apple smartwatch alternative with contactless payment.
3. TicWatch Pro 4
If you are looking for a premium smartwatch under $300 that also lets you pay bills on the go then TicWatch Pro 4 is a watch to consider. In terms of features, durability, and looks the TicWatch Pro 4 gives a tough competition to Apple and Samsung smartwatch and that too at a lot less price.
Moreover, it is compatible with both Android and iOS 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 you can sync the watch to your smartphone with Google Pay installed in it then you can add any card to your account which then reflects on your watch for making the purchases at the stores.
For security purposes, it has 3 lock options like 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 4 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 3
Vivoactive 3 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 that can train you for your favorite sports and at the same time let you pay your bills on the move then Garmin Vivoactive 3 is a watch to go for.
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 few things, such as:
1. Bank Support
The first and most important thing that you must look at in an NFC smartwatch is that 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 connecting to your phone.