While it lags behind Apple, Samsung and most recently Fitbit, Garmin’s contactless payment feature does signal the company’s intentions to go toe-to-toe with the big boys in making their fitness wearables more functional.
“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 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.”
Early this year, Garmin enabled contactless payment with the Vivosmart HR EZ-link in Singapore, allowing users to pay via the local EZ Link platform. In 2016, a similar modus operandi effected contactless payment features on trains and buses in Taiwan via the I-Pass electronic wallet; similarly on a Vivosmart HR wearable. It’s safe to say Garmin is no stranger to contactless payment.
Rather than create their own platform, payment is facilitated by FitPay at NFC-enabled POS (point of sales) terminals using an existing credit or debit card account. Once properly configured, a long press of the button the Vivoactive 3 brings up the controls to select credit card type or enable payment via a pre-set pass code.
So you can finally go for your long run sans wallet and won’t have to worry about stuffing cards and cash into your clothing.
The response to the Garmin Pay feature will likely dictate the possible implementation of contactless payment for future wearables to come from the company. As it is, I’ve chanced upon online feedback from customers with Fenix 5 series and Forerunner 935, lamenting the lack of contactless payment on their premium watches while the mid tier Vivoactive 3 users gloat.
The Garmin Pay feature is available initially for Mastercard cardholders only. Currently the list of supporting banks and credit cards are limited but Garmin has promised the list will increase over time. At present, Garmin Pay is not available in Singapore yet.
Source: PR Newswire