Garmin is synonymous with sports wearables and GPS navigation devices, and the company joins a growing throng of companies that have introduced their own payments service to mobile devices.
Powered by FitPay, a white-label contactless payments platform aimed at the burgeoning wearables and internet of things (IoT) markets, Garmin Pay allows Vívoactive 3 owners to manually add their Mastercard or Visa bank card to the Garmin Pay wallet and then pay for goods by simply scanning their NFC-enabled wrist at the point of sale.
With Garmin Pay, the company is looking to solve a problem familiar to millions of fitness enthusiasts who have to carry a phone and wallet while out on a bike ride or a run.
“With Garmin Pay, Vívoactive 3 wearers now have the freedom to leave their phone and wallet at home when they go to run or work out, and still be able to make purchases wherever their day takes them,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “The Vívoactive 3 is an indispensable tool for any active lifestyle, and we appreciate the support that card-issuing banks have provided to make this exciting new feature available to their cardholders.”
Of course, if you like a little music while pounding the sidewalks, you will still have to carry your phone (or a similar device), which is a shame.
Garmin’s shift into contactless payments followed rival Fitbit’s move into the space with Fitbit Pay, which was made available on the Ionic — the company’s first ever smartwatch. Other services vying for a piece of the mobile payments pie include Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Apple Pay.