Garmin and its FitPay subsidiary recently announced the introduction of the Garmin Pay contactless payment feature to the Garmin Vivoactive 3, giving Mastercard cardholders the ability to perform secure payments through the wearable device at NFC-enabled point-of-sale retail locations. Although Garmin Pay is currently available only for Mastercard users, the company claims that additional card issuers will be added in the near future.
Garmin Pay was initially announced along with the Vivoactive 3 in late August, and Mastercard issued a press release on the same day confirming that it will support the service soon. Fast forward a couple of months, and Garmin Pay has now become available in the United States for Mastercards issued by several banks and credit unions including BECU, Capital One, First Tech Federal Credit Union, and U.S. Bank, whereas internationally, the service is available through Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Cornèrcard, Sberbank of Russia, and Swiss Bankers Prepaid Services Ltd. Garmin Pay leans on the FitPay platform which uses tokenization for highly secure contactless transactions, while relying on the Garmin Connect application to provide digital wallet functionalities. According to the official Garmin Pay website, support for contactless payments through VISA cards will be "coming soon" through a handful of banks in and outside the United States, though no exact launch dates have been revealed as of this writing.
As for the Garmin Vivoactive 3, it's worth reminding that the smartwatch offers quite a complete package beyond contactless payments, providing powerful fitness tracking tools on a circular display accommodating 240 by 240 pixels, while also having water resistance capabilities, GPS functionality, and a generous battery rated by the manufacturer for up to 14 days of activity tracking, up to seven days of usage in the smartwatch mode, or up to 13 hours of usage with GPS enabled. The wearable connects to Android devices and iPhones over Bluetooth and is equipped with a variety of sensors including a barometric altimeter, thermometer, compass, accelerometer, and a heart rate monitor. The Garmin Vivoactive 3 is usually available for purchase in three color options for the starting price of $299 and is currently also $20 down on Amazon. Refer to the banner below for additional details on the device.