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What is Garmin Pay and How Does it Work?

A relatively new player in the world of mobile payments, Garmin Pay allows its athletic customers to pay on the go. But what is Garmin Pay, how does it work, and is it worth signing up for?

Garmin Pay is a contactless payment solution that allows you to make purchases with your Garmin smartwatch. When it was launched in 2017, only two Garmin devices were compatible with Garmin Pay, but now the count is up to 35 – and rising.

Along with other mobile payment methods such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, Garmin Pay uses near field communication (NFC) so you can use your smartwatch to make purchases at contactless card terminals.

Is Garmin Pay available in the UK?

Garmin Pay is available in over 50 countries worldwide, including the United Kingdom. However, Garmin Pay UK use is restricted by the number of banks currently signed up to the solution; you can only use your MasterCard or Visa card with Garmin Pay if your bank participates.

At the time of writing, Garmin Pay is supported in the UK by Revolut, Santander, Danske Bank, boon., and some others. You can check out the full list of Garmin Pay banks in the UK on the Garmin website.

Where can I use Garmin Pay?

You can use Garmin Pay for transactions of up to £30 at most contactless payment terminals: just look for the contactless symbol. Mobile payments like Garmin Pay are accepted at a wide range of shops, venues, and car parks – and on public transport. Handy when you’re in a rush for the tube or the bus.

How do I set up Garmin Pay?

If you have a compatible Garmin smartwatch it’s simple to set up Garmin Pay via the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone. Remember to check your wearable is paired with the app first: if it isn’t, you can add it by clicking “Add Device” on the “My Day” tab.

To set up Garmin Pay:

  • Go to the “Garmin Devices” section of the Garmin Connect app and select a compatible device
  • Select “Garmin Pay” and then tap “Create Your Wallet”
  • You’ll be asked to create a four-digit passcode to keep the virtual wallet secure
  • Add your bank card details, either manually or by scanning the card
  • You’ll receive a text with a verification code to enter (your bank may also require you to go through further security checks)
  • Once the verification process is done, the card is added to the digital wallet on your smartwatch – you should get an alert on the device to confirm Garmin Pay is active
  • You can go to “Manage Your Wallet” on the app to add more cards.

And that’s it – you’re good to go...

How can I use Garmin Pay to make a purchase?

With Garmin Pay ready to use on your wearable, it’s quick and easy to make a payment:

  • Press and hold down the action button on your watch to reach the “Navigations Control” menu
  • Click on the virtual wallet icon and enter your passcode
  • Select a card from the wallet by swiping the screen (the card you last used will appear first)
  • Hold the device close to the contactless terminal – the edge of your watch screen will light up to confirm payment has gone through.

Note that once you’ve entered the passcode, it will work for 24 hours or until you remove your watch – so transactions will be quicker.

Is Garmin Pay secure?

Garmin Pay has various security measures to protect your card details. Every time you make a purchase, watch-specific card numbers and transaction codes are used. In addition, your card number is not stored on the device or on Garmin’s servers, and neither is it given to merchants during the payment process.

Also, if your device were to be stolen, three incorrect attempts at entering the passcode will lock the virtual wallet on that device. You can reset the passcode via your smartphone.

The verdict: Is Garmin Pay any good?

Garmin Pay provides a quick, convenient, and secure way to make payments when you’re out and about – particularly if you’re exercising and don’t want to carry a wallet or phone with you.

However, you’re a little restricted because you’ve got to have: 1) a device compatible with Garmin Pay, and 2) a credit or debit card from a participating bank. Once the scheme is integrated with a greater number of banks in the UK, it should become a more flexible option.

We hope we’ve answered your question “what is Garmin Pay?”, and told you everything you need to know about using it. Check out our other blog posts for information on similar topics: