7 Best Smartwatches With NFC Payment in 2022

More than half of the US population is now using contactless payments, according to a recent Mastercard poll, and the trend is only expected to grow.

The underlying technology that makes contactless payments possible is Near Field Communication (NFC), and many smartwatches on the market come equipped with NFC chips that let you make touch-free payments directly from your wrist.

Though the hike in cashless payments is likely due in part to the coronavirus pandemic, the convenience of NFC payments is hard to ignore.

Fortunately, all major smartwatch vendors — Apple, Samsung, Garmin, and Google’s Fitbit — offer some form of NFC payment support on many of their devices.

Our research team has scoured the internet for hours and has come up with the 7 best smartwatches with NFC support so you can leave your wallet at home the next time you go for a walk, run, or bike ride.

If you are in a hurry, here is a quick glance at our top picks:

Preview
Apple Watch Series 7 [GPS 41mm] Smart Watch w/ Blue Aluminum Case with Abyss Blue Sport Band. Fitness Tracker, Blood Oxygen & ECG Apps, Always-On Retina Display, Water Resistant
SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 4 40mm Smartwatch with ECG Monitor Tracker for Health, Fitness, Running, Sleep Cycles, GPS Fall Detection, Bluetooth, US Version, SM-R860NZSAXAA, Silver
Garmin Venu 2 Plus, GPS Smartwatch with Call and Text, Advanced Health Monitoring and Fitness Features, Slate with Black Band
Ticwatch E3 Smart Watch Wear OS by Google for Men Women Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 Platform Health Monitor Fitness Tracker GPS NFC Mic Speaker IP68 Waterproof iOS Android Compatible
Name
Best for iOS: Apple Watch Series 7
Best for Android: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Best for Athletes: Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Best Budget Option: Mobvoi Ticwatch E3
Size
45mm + 41mm
Galaxy Watch 4: 40mm,44mm | Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: 42mm, 46mm
43mm
44mm
Weight
2-51 grams
25 to 52 grams
51.0 g
32g
Display
Retina LTPO OLED, 396 by 484 pixels | 41mm: Retina LTPO OLED, 352 by 430 pixels
44/46mm: 1.36-inch | 40/42mm: 1.19-inch | 44/46mm: Super AMOLED, 450 x 450 resolution | 40/42mm: Super AMOLED, 396 x 396 resolution
1.3″ (33.0 mm) diameter AMOLED optional always-on mode | 416 x 416 pixels
1.3 HD LCD panel
NFC Payments Support
Yes (Apple Pay)
Yes (Google Pay, Samsung Pay)
Yes (Garmin Pay)
Yes (Google Pay)
Battery Performance
Up to 18 hours
1-2 days
Up to 9 days
45 hours
Preview
Apple Watch Series 7 [GPS 41mm] Smart Watch w/ Blue Aluminum Case with Abyss Blue Sport Band. Fitness Tracker, Blood Oxygen & ECG Apps, Always-On Retina Display, Water Resistant
Name
Best for iOS: Apple Watch Series 7
Size
45mm + 41mm
Weight
2-51 grams
Display
Retina LTPO OLED, 396 by 484 pixels | 41mm: Retina LTPO OLED, 352 by 430 pixels
NFC Payments Support
Yes (Apple Pay)
Battery Performance
Up to 18 hours
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Preview
SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 4 40mm Smartwatch with ECG Monitor Tracker for Health, Fitness, Running, Sleep Cycles, GPS Fall Detection, Bluetooth, US Version, SM-R860NZSAXAA, Silver
Name
Best for Android: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Size
Galaxy Watch 4: 40mm,44mm | Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: 42mm, 46mm
Weight
25 to 52 grams
Display
44/46mm: 1.36-inch | 40/42mm: 1.19-inch | 44/46mm: Super AMOLED, 450 x 450 resolution | 40/42mm: Super AMOLED, 396 x 396 resolution
NFC Payments Support
Yes (Google Pay, Samsung Pay)
Battery Performance
1-2 days
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Preview
Garmin Venu 2 Plus, GPS Smartwatch with Call and Text, Advanced Health Monitoring and Fitness Features, Slate with Black Band
Name
Best for Athletes: Garmin Venu 2 Plus
Size
43mm
Weight
51.0 g
Display
1.3″ (33.0 mm) diameter AMOLED optional always-on mode | 416 x 416 pixels
NFC Payments Support
Yes (Garmin Pay)
Battery Performance
Up to 9 days
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Preview
Ticwatch E3 Smart Watch Wear OS by Google for Men Women Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 Platform Health Monitor Fitness Tracker GPS NFC Mic Speaker IP68 Waterproof iOS Android Compatible
Name
Best Budget Option: Mobvoi Ticwatch E3
Size
44mm
Weight
32g
Display
1.3 HD LCD panel
NFC Payments Support
Yes (Google Pay)
Battery Performance
45 hours
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Top 7 Smartwatches With NFC Support

  1. Galaxy Watch 4/4 Classic
  2. Apple Watch Series 7
  3. Fitbit Versa 3
  4. Mobvoi Ticwatch E3
  5. Garmin Venu 2 Plus
  6. Fossil Gen 6
  7. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Galaxy Watch 4/4 Classic:

Galaxy Watch 4

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Features and Specs:

  1. Release Date: August 2021
  2. Size: Galaxy Watch 4: 40mm,44mm | Galaxy Watch 4 Classic: 42mm, 46mm
  3. Weight: 25 to 52 grams
  4. Display: 44/46mm: 1.36-inch | 40/42mm: 1.19-inch | 44/46mm: Super AMOLED, 450 x 450 resolution | 40/42mm: Super AMOLED, 396 x 396 resolution
  5. Water Resistance: 5 ATM (up to 50m) + MIL-STD-810G
  6. Hardware Specs: 5nm Samsung Exynos W920Dual-core 1.18GHz
  7. NFC Payments Support: Yes (Google Pay, Samsung Pay)
  8. Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz, Cellular (Only in LTE models)NFC
  9. Battery Performance: 1-2 days (mixed usage), It varies with the smartwatch size, usage of features like GPS and Music, and Always-on
  10. Sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope, Geomagnetic sensor GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, Ambient light sensor, Samsung BioActive sensor, optical heart rate (PPG), electrocardiogram (ECG), bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor (BIA)

Two Minute Review:

The latest generation of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Series is a break from the past. It’s the first Wear OS 3 device and is powered by the latest 5nm Samsung Exynos W920 processor for stellar performance.

The watch enjoys the best of both worlds with a mixture of Samsung and Google apps. For a wrist-based voice assistant, you have both Bixby and Google Assistant, and for contactless payments, you have both Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

NFC chip has been integrated into Samsung watches since the original galaxy watch back in 2018, so there is nothing special about it. However, the addition of Google Pay support has allowed users more flexibility in choice.

If we have to pick between the two, Google Pay would be our preferred choice with its wide availability (42 countries), peer-to-peer payment, and support for multiple debits, credit, loyalty, and gift cards.

To cater to both men and women, Galaxy Watch 4 comes in two sizes: 40mm and 44mm. The larger watch has a 1.36-inch display, while the smaller watch has a 1.19-inch display.

Both watches are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ for scratch resistance and rated 5ATM for water resistance up to 50 meters.

There’s also support for tracking runs, swims, and bike rides with GPS. The watch doubles as a health tracker as it can monitor your heart rate, ECG, sleep, calories burned, and blood oxygen.

You also get two connectivity options (LTE & Bluetooth) at a difference of $50. Though the NFC payment option works independently of internet connectivity, we recommend the LTE model for its standalone capabilities: you can make and receive calls, stream music on Spotify, and use Google Assistant on the watch even when you’re away from your phone.

Pros
  • Snappy User Experience
  • Advanced Health Tracking
  • Sharp Display
  • Standalone Calling and Texting (Only with LTE)
  • Music Storage and Streaming
Cons
  • Don’t support magnetic secure transmission
  • Compatible with Android only

Apple Watch Series 7

Apple Watch 7

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Features and Specs:

  1. Release Date: October 2021
  2. Size: 45mm + 41mm
  3. Weight: 32-51 grams
  4. Display: 45mm: Retina LTPO OLED, 396 by 484 pixels | 41mm: Retina LTPO OLED, 352 by 430 pixels
  5. Water Resistance: 5ATM (up to 50m)
  6. Hardware Specs: Dual-core processor with Apple S7 chipset
  7. NFC Payments Support: Yes (Apple Pay)
  8. Connectivity: LTE and UMTS6, GPS + Cellular models, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
  9. Battery Performance: Up to 18 hours
  10. Sensors: GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS, BDS, Accelerometer, gyro, heart rate, barometer, always-on altimeter, compass, SpO2, Ambient Light Sensor

Two Minute Review:

All Apple Watches have an NFC chip, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that we can make contactless payments with the latest AW7. However, never has it been so smooth and seamless thanks to the S7 chip that is running the show.

If we take aside the watch for a moment, ‘Apple Pay’ in itself is a fantastic NFC payment method. It’s widely accepted, so you can use it in millions of stores, both online and offline. And it is available in more countries than Google and Samsung Pay with an increasing userbase.

Another interesting thing that is worth a mention here is that you won’t have to lug your iPhone around as the Apple Pay creates a unique token stored on the Watch that mimics your card details. You can make payments in grocery stores, subways, and vending machines. There is no need for a Wi-Fi or internet connection on the watch either.

Again, Apple Watch Series 7 is not unique in making NFC payments, you can pick any iWatch from Series 3 to Series 6 easily available on the market, but you won’t get the bezel-less screen, seamless operation, and fast charging that comes with the new addition. Still, if you want to skimp on these bells and whistles, we would recommend that you prefer Series SE over Series 3.

Also, you get the freedom of choice in sizes (41 vs 45mm), casing material (Aluminum, Stainless steel, Titanium), and connectivity (GPS vs LTE). The price of the watch varies depending on the size, connectivity, and casing material. The smaller Aluminum AW7 with only GPS connectivity is the cheapest.

In addition to this, you get some remarkable sports and fitness tracking capabilities on this watch, with many activity profiles backed by spotless GPS tracking.

However, we were pretty disappointed with the 18 hours of battery life which hasn’t changed since the Series 3.

Pros
  • Powerful Processor
  • Standalone calling and texting
  • Remarkable bezel-less display
Cons
  • Compatible only with iPhone
  • A bit expensive

Fitbit Versa 3:

Fitbit Versa 3

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Features and Specs:

  1. Release Date: September 2020
  2. Size: 40mm
  3. Weight: 40-42.5 g
  4. Display: 1.58-inch AMOLED | 336 x 336 resolution
  5. Water Resistance: 5 ATM (Water Resistance for up to 50m)
  6. NFC Payments Support: Yes (Fitbit Pay)
  7. Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz), Bluetooth 5.0
  8. Battery Performance: 6 days
  9. Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, optical heart rate sensor, Altimeter, Temperature sensor, Vibration Motor, NFC, Ambient light sensor, Oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring Sensor

Two Minute Review:

Like Samsung and Apple, NFC payments have been one of the key selling points for the Fitbit Versa 3. The company featured its first contactless payment feature on the special edition of the original Versa watch under the name of ‘Fitbit Pay’.

Compared to Google, Apple, and Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay is a bit behind in the race. As of March 2022, the service is only available in 47 countries. However, if you live in North America, you will be able to add major banks and cards as well as can make NFC payments at major transit terminals.

Though Google is now the parent company of Fitbit, and Versa 3 comes with two voice assistants (Alexa and Google Assistant), you won’t get Google Pay on this device.

If we take the watch itself, Versa 3 is one of the best-looking fitness trackers you can buy. The display is crisp (360 x360 resolution), and the bezels are almost non-existent. The watch is also one of the lightest smartwatches you can wear, and it’s comfortable too.

Though it features a standalone GPS and powerful enough hardware to track your activities, its real strength lies in health tracking where it matches and sometimes surpasses industry leaders like Apple Watch. Take for example sleep tracking, way more comprehensive than any watch on the market.

Note: Fitbit Sense is the successor of Versa 3 and offers ECG monitoring and a couple of health sensors as an improvement. Sense also supports Fitbit Pay.

Versa 3 can pick calls when connected to a smartphone and control smart home devices. You can store good old MP3 on the watch and stream music on Pandora through Wi-Fi. So there are pretty decent smarts under the hood.

Lastly, the battery life is solid. You can get almost 3-5 days of usage, and that’s with the always-on display turned on and occasional sports tracking.

Pros
  • Solid Health Tracking
  • Affordable
  • Battery Performance
Cons
  • Firmware updates for only 1-2 years.

Mobvoi Ticwatch E3:

Ticwatch E3

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Features and Specs:

  1. Release Date: June 2021
  2. Size: 44mm
  3. Weight: 32g
  4. Display: 1.3 HD LCD panel
  5. Water Resistance: IP68
  6. Hardware Specs: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 Platform and Mobvoi dual-processor system
  7. NFC Payments Support: Yes (Google Pay)
  8. Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi:802.11b/g/n
  9. Battery Performance: 45 hours
  10. Sensors: PPG Heart Rate Sensor, Accelerator, Gyroscope, SP O2 sensor, low latency off-body sensor, GPS, GLONASS, Beidou

Two Minutes Review

Ticwatch E3 is yet another watch that offers NFC payments via Google Pay, but it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg like some of the other options on this list. It’s a great choice for those who want a cheap watch with NFC that still has all the bells and whistles.

There are plenty of trade-offs like the display is lower quality than you’ll find on pricier models, but it’s still an HD. The size is pretty big for a small wrist, and the water resistance is not good enough for pool swimming.

The watch doesn’t support standalone calling, but it can store and stream music. Google Assistant will allow you to send quick replies to messages, set alarms, and timers, and provide you with weather and news updates. And also, you have access to thousands of third-party apps on the Google play store.

The fitness and health tracking on this watch is pretty standard. It has a heart rate sensor, can track your steps and calories burned, and even has GPS for tracking your runs. There’s also a SpO2 sensor for monitoring blood oxygen levels. Unlike Fossil Gen 6, Mobvoi has a good track in this domain.

Lastly, the battery performance of the Ticwatch E3 is also great. It lasts for around 45 hours on a single charge, which is more than enough for most people.

Pros
  • Google Assistant
  • Decent Battery life
  • Affordable
Cons
  • LCD Display
  • Big and Chunky

Garmin Venu 2 Plus:

Venu 2 Plus

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Features and Specs:

  1. Release Date: January 4, 2022
  2. Size: 43mm
  3. Weight: 51.0 g
  4. Display: 1.3″ (33.0 mm) diameter AMOLED optional always-on mode | 416 x 416 pixels
  5. Water Resistance: 5ATM (up to 50m)
  6. NFC Payments Support: Yes (Garmin Pay)
  7. Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, Wi-Fi
  8. Battery Performance: Up to 9 days | Battery saver Smartwatch mode: Up to 10 days | GPS mode with music: Up to 8 hours | GPS mode without music: Up to 24 hours
  9. Sensors: GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, Accelerometer, gyro, heart rate, barometer, always-on altimeter, compass, SpO2, Ambient Light Sensor, Thermometer, saturation monitor

Two Minute Review:

Garmin Venu 2 Plus is the immediate successor of Venu 2/2S and has carried some of the best features from the former watch. The watch uses Garmin’s proprietary contactless payment system called ‘Garmin Pay’ and supports a ton of banks and cards in North America and the UK.

As you might know, Garmin devices offer spot-on sports tracking. Venu 2 Plus does not disappoint in this regard too. The watch is equipped with multi-navigational satellite system support (GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO) to offer accurate position tracking in various sports like running, biking, and hiking.

Garmin added NFC payment support as a result of immense pressure from athletes, especially runners. Nobody wants to lug a smartphone or a wallet on a run. And this is where NFC payment support comes in handy. All you need is to enter the passcode on a responsive touch-screen display and to bring the watch closer to the terminal. There is no need to fumble for cards or cash.

The watch is also the first by Garmin to support a voice assistant (Alexa), but you cannot enter the passcode through voice commands. Apart from this, you can make Bluetooth calls on the watch as it comes with a built-in speaker and mic. Also, the watch supports music storage (500 songs) and streaming on Spotify.

Moreover, the watch offers a ton of fitness tracking features that include continuous heart rate tracking, sleep, and all-day stress tracking, respiration tracking, hydration tracking, and more.

One major downside can be its hefty price tag and a bulky size which might fit large wrists but is a tad bit too big for smaller wrists. You can pick the older Venu 2S, the original Venu, or the squarish Venu SQ Music at a discounted price as all of them support NFC payments.

Garmin never disappoints in battery performance and the Venu 2 Plus is no different. The watch can easily last for 9 days on a single charge in smartwatch mode and 8 hours with both GPS and Music running.

Pros
  • Solid Health and Sports Tracking
  • Robust Build
  • Alexa Support
  • Expensive
Cons
  • Not many banks are supported outside North America

Fossil Gen 6:

Fossil Gen 6

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Features and Specs:

  1. Release Date: September 2021
  2. Size: 44mm, 42mm
  3. Weight: 43g
  4. Display: 1.28 inches Color AMOLED / 416 x416
  5. Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  6. Hardware Specs: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+
  7. NFC Payments Support: Yes(Google Pay)
  8. Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 LE, GPS, NFC SE, WiFi
  9. Battery Performance: 24 Hours + multi-day Extended Mode
  10. Sensors: Accelerometer, Altimeter, Ambient Light, Compass, Gyroscope, Off-body IR, PPG Heart Rate, SPO2

Two Minute Review:

Fossil Gen 6 like all the watches in the GEN series is a fashion-focused watch with plenty of smarts to offer. It runs the latest QUALCOMM 4100 processor and is one of the few watches that are promised to upgrade to Wear 3.0.

It supports almost all Google wearable suits of apps that include Google Play, Google Pay, Google Fit, and Google Assistant. Of course, it supports NFC payments once you set it up in the Google Pay app.

Once you add card details to the watch, You can make payments on almost all NFC terminals in the USA. Keep in mind that you might have to enter a pin for Debit card transactions, and there might be a daily limit on the card as defined by your bank.

The watch is available in two sizes 44mm and 42mm with an array of swappable brands. Unlike other watches on this list, it is water-resistant up to 30m in the water, a shame when 50m or 5ATM rating has become an industry standard.

The watch supports Alexa which has been recently added. So there is a choice of voice assistance just like Galaxy Watch 4 and Fitbit Versa 3. Plus, it can store tracks (almost 1000) and stream Spotify music.

Though there are many fitness tracking profiles available through Google Fit, the watch has some questionable accuracy when it comes to sports and health tracking. We don’t buy a Fossil Watch for these features, even though they don’t come cheap.

Another major drawback is the battery performance where it offers only 24 hours in smartwatch mode.

Pros
  • Fashion Wearable
  • Great performance
  • Sleek and Slim Design
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • Not suitable for swimming

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3:

Galaxy Watch 3

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Features and Specs:

  1. Release Date: August 2020
  2. Size: 45mm, 41mm
  3. Weight: 48-52 grams
  4. Display: 45mm: 1.4 inches, 41mm: 1.2 inches | Circular Super AMOLED (360 x 360)
  5. Water Resistance: 5ATM + IP68 MIL-STD-810G
  6. Hardware Specs: Exynos 9110 Dual-core 1.15GHz
  7. NFC Payments Support: Yes (Google Pay, Samsung Pay)
  8. Connectivity: LTE and UMTS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
  9. Battery Performance: 2 days or less
  10. Sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Electrical Heart Sensor(ECG), Optical Heart Rate Sensor(HRM), Light Sensor

Two Minute Review:

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is an old watch that is still a great choice for those who want a smartwatch with NFC payment support. It features the company’s very own Samsung Pay to make tap-to-pay possible.

Samsung pay is available in 29 countries and you can get an extensive list of supported banks and cards on the company’s website. This cashless payment offers a number of perks and bonus points with certain retailers. Plus, it supports peer-to-peer payments like Google Pay.

To make payments on the go, the smartwatch has to be linked with your Samsung smartphone. After that, all you need to do is to launch the app on the watch and bring it closer to the NFC terminal.

Apart from this, Galaxy Watch 3 has got some real hardware under the hood. It is powered by the company’s Exynos 9110 Dual-core 1.15GHz processor and has got 8GB of internal storage and 1.5 GB of RAM for a smooth experience. The watch can make standalone calls given that you go for the LTE model.

The crisp AMOLED display and a physical rotating bezel are some of the other features to appreciate on this watch. The traditional look with physical buttons on the side makes it stand out from the crowd of squarish watches. (Yes, we are taking a dig at Apple’s iconic design).

The only downside is the Tizen OS which Samsung discarded in its latest Galaxy Watch 4. Surely there would be a firmware update for the next couple of years but then you will be forced to upgrade.

All advanced health features like ECG monitoring, sleep, and stress tracking is available on the watch. Sports tracking, it lags behind industry leaders like Garmin and Polar, but it is still passable for casual training.

Lastly, the battery performance on GW3 is better than Apple Watch and is the same as you get on Galaxy Watch 4.

Pros
  • AMOLED display
  • Rugged Design
  • Health Tracking (ECG)
  • Standalone Calling and Texting
Cons
  • It won’t upgrade to Google’s Wear OS 3.0

Final Verdict:

Galaxy Watch 4 is our top pick for Android users, and we have our reasons. You don’t just buy this watch for NFC payments but can take full advantage of its LTE capabilities and an extensive pack of health sensors. The watch has a solid build and works flawlessly with an Android phone.

Alternatively, we would recommend you Apple Watch Series 7 if you want to pair the smartwatch with your iPhone. The watch sets the gold standard in terms of design, display, and performance. However, there is a hefty price tag attached to it. Apple Watch Series 3 or SE can be an affordable alternative if you need is contactless payment feature.

Frequently Asked Questions: NFC Compatible Watches

To add Google pay to your Samsung Watch 4 or 4 Classic, you will first need to download the app from the Google Play Store. Once the app is installed, follow the on-screen instructions to add cards with the help of a connected smartphone.

Fitbit Versa 3 doesn’t have Google pay which only works on watches that use Wear OS. Despite the fact that Fitbit is now owned by Google, and the latest watches like Versa 3 and Sense support Google Assistant, you cannot use Google pay on any Fitbit watch.

There is no fixed limit to the number of contactless payments and it varies from region to region and also depends on the supported banks. Most banks in the USA have set the daily limit to $50, while in the UK, it is almost £45. In Australia, there is no official limit by the banks, but often when you make payments that are more than AU$100, you will have to enter your card a PIN on the NFC terminal.

You can make NFC payments on a watch without your phone no matter if it is Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin, or Samsung Galaxy Watch. However, you would always have to use a smartphone to initially set up cashless payments on the watch.

Yes, NFC payments are secure. They use encryption and tokenization to protect your card information. When you pay with your watch, a unique token is created that is used to process the transaction. Your card number is never shared with the merchant.