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Wearable Tech

How to pay for things with your Android Wear smartwatch

Paying for groceries with a flash of your wrist is the future -- one that Android Wear has finally joined.

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With the launch of Android Wear 2.0 Google added support for its mobile payment platform, Android Pay. The only hiccup with the feature right now is the number of Android Wear watches with NFC support is, well, limited.

So limited, that as of this writing, only the LG Watch Sport works with Android Pay. As Android Wear 2.0 continues to roll out and more manufacturers release NFC-equipped watches, that list will surely grow.

As for banks that work with Android Pay, Google has a complete list here. Notice Wells Fargo and Citi cards will work with Android Pay on your phone, but not on Android Wear. It's an odd omission, but hopefully one that gets worked out.

Lastly, even though Google hinted that Android Pay would work when paired to an iPhone, it's not available quite yet. For now, at least, you'll need an Android phone.

Set up

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Download and install the Android Pay app on your phone and your Android Wear watch.

If you already have a card added to Android Pay on a phone, you can go straight to adding a card on the watch (more on that in a minute).

If you haven't set up Android Pay yet, launch the app, tap on the "plus" button at the bottom of the display. Next, scan your credit or debit card, enter your address, accept your banks' terms, then follow the prompts to verify your card.

To add a card to your Android Wear watch, open the Android Pay app on the watch. Swipe up on the screen, and tap on Add card. Your watch will open the Android Pay app on your phone, where you'll need to follow the same steps when you originally added a card, save for the scanning part.

Once your card is verified for the watch version of Android Pay, you're ready to start making payments.

Make a payment

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Paying with your watch is easy. On the LG Watch Sport, you press the bottom button to launch Android Pay from the watch face. If you have more than one card, select it, then hold the screen to the payment terminal. A few seconds later, after your watch and the POS system exchange info, the payment will be processed.