GPS Innovator Garmin Moves Into Wearables with Payments Features


Sadly, this is not a paid endorsement, though it should be.  Garmin – many of us know that name from the auto GPS devices they helped innovate, and the firm was no stranger to advertising in the inflight catalogue SkyMall (which I still miss!), along with garden gnomes, Yeti statues and the like.  However, Garmin offers so much more than GPS devices and now offer cameras, wearables and the like.  The latest offering is a new smartwatch which offers contactless payments with MasterCard and Visa, in conjunction with tech provider FitPay.  Payments, time, GPS, fitness – all in one device and competing with the Apple Watch, just in time for Black Friday.  We’ll see how this innovative Kansas-based firm fares against the Apple big boys in Silicon Valley in the wearables category. 
(Cindy Taylor/Publisher)

EXCLUSIVE – Contactless payment capabilities are now available on wearable maker Garmin International’s latest smartwatch.

Today Garmin International, along with payment technology provider FitPay, said that its payments feature, called Garmin Pay, is now live on Garmin’s smartwatch Vívoactive 3.

Whether the announcement, which comes just in time for Black Friday, will help lure buyers into choosing the product over the variety of smartwatches in the market from Fitbit to Apple Watch remains to be seen.

Olathe, Kansas-based Garmin first revealed the new smartwatch in August at the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Consumer Electronic Unlimited show in Berlin, Germany.

Garmin Pay is powered by payment technology and authentication platform provider, FitPay, and can be used by all MasterCard and Visa card holders. These users can make contactless payments at near-field communication-enabled (NFC) point-of-sale (POS) locations wherever these cards are accepted.

For now, the feature is only available to Mastercard cardholders from issuing banks and credit unions supporting the new service around the world. These banks in U.S. include BECU, Capital One, First Tech Federal Credit Union, and U.S. Bank in the United States. Global banking partners include Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Cornèrcard, Sberbank of Russia, and Swiss Bankers Prepaid Services Ltd.

The user will have to manually upload or scan their card information on the Garmin Connect Mobile app. The app is available on both Apple and Android phones…”

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