Apple has been a dominant force in the smartwatch industry, with almost 30% market share as of 2021. The watches in its iconic Apple Watch series lineup are capable of doing a lot of things: they can make calls, send texts, track position, monitor the heart rate, and so on.
But can Apple watch make contactless payments? Does Apple Watch have NFC? What are the limitations?
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about NFC on Apple Watch, its capabilities, and how you can use it.
So without further ado, let’s get started!
Does Apple Watch Have NFC?
The Apple Watch does have an integrated NFC chip, but its capabilities are limited to Apple Pay and Apple Wallet. You cannot use the NFC chip for other purposes, such as reading NFC tags or sharing data with other NFC-enabled devices.
We all know well about the Apple policy for universal compatibility. The company has a reputation for making its devices exclusive be it iPhone, Apple Watch, or Macbook.
So this should not come as a surprise that Apple has locked down the NFC chip on Apple Watch by some software gimmickry to prevent it from being used with unauthorized devices or services.
The same is true for wireless charging. No Apple Watch can be charged with a regular Wireless charger even though the latest ones support the technology.
Which Apple Watch is NFC-enabled?
All watches from the original Apple Watch to the latest Apple Watch Series 7 are NFC-enabled. How do we know? The NFC-backed contactless payment feature on Apple Watch (aka Apple Pay) has been available since the launch of the first Apple Watch.
How does Apple Watch NFC work?
The Apple Watch NFC is restricted to Apple Pay. The system works in a pretty simple and straightforward way.
When you want to use your Apple Watch to make a payment, you just need to double-click the side button and hold the watch close to the NFC reader.
The reader will communicate with the Watch and process the payment after you enter the passcode.
To elaborate further, NFC or near-field communication technology works on inductive coupling. It uses electromagnetic induction to enable communication between devices that are close to each other, typically no more than a few centimeters apart.
The Apple Pay feature on the Apple Watch mimics supported credit or debit card details and uses an NFC antenna to transfer them to a payment terminal.
How do I turn on NFC on my Apple Watch?
There is no need to turn on the NFC on Apple Watch as the wearable device is smart enough to turn it on itself when you try to make a payment.
As soon as you double-click the side button and hold the watch close to the NFC reader, the Watch will automatically turn on its NFC chip to initiate communication.
Similarly, the NFC chip will be turned off as soon as the Watch is moved away from the reader.
However, if your question pertains to setting up the Apple Pay feature on the Apple Watch, then you will have to navigate to Watch App (on your paired iPhone)>My Watch> Wallet and Apple Pay> Tap Add Card> Verification.
As soon as you are done with the verification process, you will be notified on your Apple Watch.
Can I unlock door with Apple watch NFC?
You can unlock doors with Apple Watch NFC feature but only the ones that have compatible smart locks. To make it simple for you, Apple Watch can unlock HomeKit-compatible smart locks.
To name a few, Schlage Encode Plus, August Home Smartlock pro, Yale Assure Lock SL.
Can Apple Watch read NFC tag?
The Apple Watch cannot read NFC tags. Though it has the hardware required to read NFC tags, the company has not enabled the feature. Though the iPhone has several apps for this, the Apple Watch cannot scan NFC tags to fetch information related to products, locations, or other data.
The only thing you can do with NFC on your Watch is made payments through Apple Pay or unlock doors via Apple Wallet.
To sum up, Apple Watch is NFC-enabled, but not without certain limitations. You can use your Watch to make payments or unlock HomeKit-compatible smart locks.
The company has not enabled the feature to read NFC tags even though the Watch has the hardware required to do so.
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