Yet, it is not all about paying by mobile. Fitbit – the smartwatch and fitness accessory brand – have launched their own payment service too: Fitbit Pay. But what is FitBit Pay, exactly?
In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on what Fitbit Pay is, how it works, and where you can use it.
What is Fitbit Pay?
Like the more famous mobile payment services, Fitbit Pay is a contactless payment method that liberates you from cards and cash. It enables you to pay in-store with your Fitbit watch or tracker wherever you see the contactless payment symbol.
Fitbit Pay works by allowing you to add bank cards to your Fitbit app, which become available for use through your Fitbit. In exactly the same way as your contactless debit card, Fitbit Pay uses near-field communication (NFC) technology. So, you just need to hold your wrist over the contactless payment terminal to pay.
Where Fitbit Pay and other device-based payment services differ from card payments, however, is in the use of ‘tokenisation’. When paying with a card, you entrust merchants with the security of your bank details. With Fitbit Pay, stores – and Fitbit themselves – never have access to your bank details.
Rather, every time you pay, your details are “tokenised”, meaning they get encoded as a temporary surrogate which is transferred. This is excellent for security as it means that, if a merchant is hacked, none of your financial details will be found.
How do I set up Fitbit Pay?
To start paying with your Fitbit, you are going to have to first set up the device.
This means adding your debit or credit card to your phone’s Fitbit app and telling your app which Fitbit model you are going to be paying with.
You’ll then have to set up the PIN. You’ll be asked for this the first time you use Fitbit Pay after taking it off, or the first time you make a payment in 24 hours. The process is really quite simple.
Is Fitbit Pay safe?
Fitbit Pay’s tokenisation process is identical to the technology used by Google Pay, Apple Pay, and the other mobile payment services. This is the industry-standard procedure by which your bank details remain hidden to everyone but yourself. Through every transaction, your details remain perfectly secure.
Yet, the question remains of what happens if someone gets hold of your Fitbit or phone. Here, Fitbit Pay is totally secure too. Your Fitbit Wallet – the part of the phone app that stores your cards – is PIN-protected, whilst payments made by Fitbit Pay are subject to the same limits as contactless payments in general.
That means that, in the UK, you can usually only pay for transactions of up to £30. Higher-sum transactions can’t be processed without further authorisation.
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Where can I use Fitbit Pay?
You can use Fitbit Pay to pay for transactions wherever you see the contactless symbol. That means that you can pay with your smartwatch or tracker at any shop where you’d pay with your contactless card or phone. You are also able to pay with Fitbit Pay across the Transport for London network. That means on buses, on the Underground, and across trains throughout Greater London.
Using Fitbit Pay with UK banks
Whilst Fitbit Pay is available with a huge array of banks in the USA and Scandinavia, Fitbit are still in the process of rolling out their service to the full variety of UK banks. Many major banks – including Lloyds, Barclays, NatWest, and Nationwide – do not yet support the technology (at the time of writing).
Santander, Danske Bank, and Fineco do support Fitbit Pay, however. Revolut does, too.
Which Fitbit has Fitbit Pay?
At the time of writing, Fitbit Pay is only available on the Versa and Versa 2, Ionic, and Charge 3 Special Edition Fitbits. All of the newest versions of the Fitbit will now be equipped with an NFC chip – meaning that they will all be enabled for Fitbit Pay. You can always check Fitbit's website for the supporting devices.
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