There was a time when making digital payments was nothing short of a unicorn. Now brands such as Apple, Garmin, Samsung, and Fitbit lets you make contactless payments fast with the best NFC smartwatches.
NFC technology didn’t come to eliminate wallets as a necessity. It just made wearable technology far more revolutionary to make your life easier.
So my goal with this guide is simple.
I give you a list of what I believe to be the best smartwatches with NFC. Then, I leave it to you to choose what brand or model you’d like to use to make contactless payments.
Let’s get to it.
Overview of Smartwatches that Support Contactless Payments
The following table is a summary of the three most popular smartwatches that allow you to make contactless payments right from your wrist:
|Fitbit Versa 4||Apple Watch Series 8||Garmin Vivoactive 4|
|Payment Services||Fitbit Pay||Apple Pay||Garmin Pay|
|Number of Cards||Add up to 6 cards||Add up to 12 cards||Add up to 10 cards|
|Number of Bank||100+ Banks||100+ Banks||100+ Banks|
|Compatibility||Works with Android and iPhone||Works with Android and iPhone||Works with Android and iPhone|
|Battery Life||Up to 5 days||At most 18 hours||Up to 10 days|
|Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
These are by no means the only options available in the wearable market.
They’re examples of the smartwatches that I would recommend to anyone who needs a wearable with NFC payment solution.
How to Choose a Smartwatch with NFC
Here’s the deal:
The wearable market has dozens of smartwatches that boast of NCF integration. Yet despite the plethora of options, being as meticulous can help you to choose the best model rather than any option.
So, before you settle on any smartwatch that supports digital payment, consider the following:
1. Bank Support
Popular wearable brands have one thing in common:
They work to integrate as many interesting and useful features as possible on their smartwatches. And the ability to shop for goods and services is one of the most powerful feature ever added.
However, just because a smartwatch has the Near Field Communication technology doesn’t mean it’s a good fit.
It’s because, unless you know which banks the wearable supports, you could be making a wrong investment decision that can cost you money.
So check which banks your brand of choice works with, and if the banks you use are on the list, make your purchase decision based on that.
2. Brand Popularity
I hardly look at brand popularity when buying anything online. But it’s still an important factor to consider nonetheless.
For convenience and guarantee for efficient performance, I would highly recommend choosing a popular brand with a decent record of good reputation.
If anything, it’s easier to buy a smartwatch from a popular brand such as Apple, Samsung, or Garmin than from a lesser-known brand that just entered the market.
Every smartwatch with NFC payment come at a different price point.
Determine how much you’re able and willing to pay for the wearable. Then, select a brand that designs and sell watches that fall within your budget.
5 Best Smartwatches with NFC for Making Wrist Payments
Now that you know what to look for when choosing a smartwatch that can make contactless payments, here are some options to consider:
1. Ticwatch Pro 3 GPS Smartwatch with Google Pay
At a glance, Ticwatch Pro 3 looks just like many standard watches.
But on the hardware and software level, what you get is a stylish smartwatch with smart features that give you the value for the money.
Mobvoi doesn’t have its own dedicated payment gateway. But its NFC technology supports Google Pay, a technology that’s not only secure but also easy to setup and use.
You can use a credit or debit card with Ticwatch Pro 3. And do keep in mind that you can add only up to 5 cards to your account.
It’s incredible that Mobvoi take security seriously by giving you three locking options (PIN, password, and pattern) to bar unauthorized person from accessing your funds.
2. Fitbit Versa 4
Fitbit has released four models for the Versa series so far, with the fourth version garnering a loyal audience just like the first.
One of the things that Fitbit Versa 4 smartwatch can do well is to allow you to make wrist payments.
Whether you want to make an emergency payment or you wish to evolve into a more convenient means of buying goods and services, this smartwatch can be a game changer.
At the hardware level is an integrated NFC chip that allows the watch to make contactless payments, and the transaction process takes less than 10 seconds to complete.
One of the things I love about Fitbit Versa 4 in relation to contactless payments is versatility.
Ideally, you have the option to use the native Fitbit Pay solution, and you don’t need to have Fitbit Premium subscription to use it. The other option is to use Google Wallet to make payments in a similar way.
You can add up to 6 debit or credit cards to your Fitbit Pay account, which gives you the convenience and flexibility to make payments from different bank accounts.
I advise that you first check Fitbit supported banks before you settle for the Versa 4 model. That way, you won’t be investing in a smartwatch that doesn’t meet your needs.
3. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
You can’t look at a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and not love it. It looks sleek and lightweight, and it has as a vibrant screen that’s readable even under direct sunlight.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 support Google Pay and Samsung Pay. So you can use one or both to make contactless payments with ease.
To get the NFC feature to function, you’ll need to add your card to Samsung Pay through the Samsung Watch companion mobile app.
You will love Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 because of how easy it is to use when making contactless payments.
Press and hold down the button on the watch to load your card screen. Bring the watch close to a contactless payment reader. Wait 60 seconds for the reader to find and enter your security code and make payments.
Perhaps the biggest drawback of owing Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is that it doesn’t work with iOS. Despite running on Wear OS, a Google software compatible with iPhone, Samsung doesn’t support.
Therefore, you can only this smartwatch with an Android or Samsung smartphones.
4. Apple Watch Series 8
Apple Watch Series 8 is not a cheap smartwatch. But it’s a trending timepiece with smart built-in features designed to make your life easier.
One of the things this Apple Watch can do is to make contactless payments via the NFC reader.
So if you have the Series 8 and you want a flexible way to pay for goods and services, take advantage of Apple Pay.
I highly recommend the Apple Watch Series 8 GPS + Cellular. And given that Apple Watches are regional, you can set up the watch to work with any of the approved carriers, and use it as a standalone device to make digital payments.
Apple Series 8 supports up to 12 cards, which you can add or remove on the Apple Pay app on your iPhone or directly from the watch if you don’t have your phone within reach.
Like Fitbit Pay, the Apple Pay technology is available worldwide.
Because 100+ banks work with Apple Pay to offer digital payment services, there’s no reason not to make payments with an Apple Watch if you already have one.
5. Garmin Vivoactive 4
Leave your wallet and cards at home and take advantage of the NFC technology built into Garmin Vivoactive 4 smartwatch to make payments for goods and services fast.
Simply download and install the Garmin Pay app to the watch and start transacting in any store or shop that accepts NFC contactless payments.
The one thing I love about Garmin Vivoactive 4 is that its companion app works with iPhone and Android.
Furthermore, you have the option to add multiple cards from over 100 Garmin Pay compatible banks worldwide. For this smartwatch in particular, you can add up to 10 different credit and/or debit cards and go completely cashless.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is NFC on Smartwatch?
NFC is a technology that allows data transfer between devices that are a few centimeters from each other.
If a smartwatch is NFC-enabled, it means you can bring it close to a Near Field Communication reader to allow making and completing digital transactions for goods and services.
2. Can I Pay With My Watch Without a Phone?
You can use your smartwatch to make contactless payments as long as the watch supports NFC communication.
Also, you’ll need to add your credit or debit cards to the watch through the respective companion app on your phone for the ability to make digital payments to take effect.
Smartwatches with NFC technology can be quite handy if you left your wallet or smartphone at home but you would like to make an urgent purchase of goods and services.
Additionally, you just might use them as your convenient timepieces to transact on the go without ever having to reach out for your phone.
However, before you buy an NFC-powered smartwatch, consider two things: app compatibility and bank support.
Once you have these two aspects figured out, it becomes easy for you to make contactless payments on the go – as long as you have sufficient balance in your account.