The ability to pay for something using a phone or smartwatch is a lifesaver if you’ve ever forgotten your wallet. It also generally makes the checkout experience smoother and faster. Like Apple, Google, Samsung, and Fitbit, Garmin has its own contactless payment solution as well.
Whether you already own a Garmin smartwatch or are planning to buy one, here’s everything you need to know about Garmin Pay!
What is Garmin Pay?
Garmin Pay allows you to pay for things at select stores by simply using your Garmin smartwatch. Like most other mobile payment options, these devices use near field communication (NFC). The wave symbol on the card reader means it accepts contactless payments via supported debit and credit cards, phones, and smartwatches. All you have to do is hold your wrist close to the card reader to complete a transaction.
Security is always a concern, but Garmin has done a good job in this regard. It uses transaction codes every time you make a purchase to help keep the process secure. Card numbers are not stored on the device, on Garmin’s servers, or available to merchants. Instead, it relies on watch-specific card numbers. Three incorrect attempts at entering the passcode will also lock you out. You can only reset the passcode if you remember the old one. If you don’t, the entire wallet gets deleted to keep your info safe.
Garmin has continually added Garmin Pay support to more devices, expanding from just two at launch to 16 so far.
- Garmin Forerunner 945, Forerunner 645, Forerunner 645 Music
- Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, Fenix 5S Plus, Fenix 5X Plus
- Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music, Vivoactive 3
- Garmin D2 Delta S, D2 Delta, D2 Delta PX
- Garmin Marq Driver, Marq Aviator, Marq Captain, Marq Expedition, Marq Athlete
Supported banks and cards
You can use Garmin Pay at any payment terminal or card reader that accepts contactless payments, but you’ll only be able to add a bank or card that is supported. There are too many to list here, which is a testament to how widely supported this feature is.
In broad strokes, you can use Garmin Pay in over 45 countries, with hundreds of banks supported. While the majority of them are in the U.S., Garmin is adding participating banks all the time. You can find the complete list of supported banks and cards here.
How to use Garmin Pay
Connect a device
- To get started, you will need to download the Garmin Connect app.
- Ensure that your Garmin wearable is paired with the app. You’ll see an “Add device” option on the My Day tab if a device isn’t paired. Alternately, you can open the hamburger menu, tap on Garmin Devices, and add a device.
- You should see an icon of your device at the top of the My Day tab. Tap on it and select Garmin Pay. You can access it by going to the Garmin Devices page as well.
Add a card
- Once you open the Garmin Pay page, tap on Create Your Wallet.
- You will have to set up a 4-digit PIN to secure the wallet, which is also the passcode you’ll need to access your cards on the watch.
- Select a card type. Options include Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, and Discover.
- You will have to manually enter your card data like the card number, expiration date, and security code. Scanning your card is also an option.
- You will get a text message with a verification code. In some cases, you may have to call your bank customer service to complete the process.
- After verification, you will get an alert on your Garmin watch to show that Garmin Pay is active.
How to make a payment
- Press and hold the action button on the watch. In the menu, find and tap on Garmin Pay (the virtual wallet icon).
- Enter the passcode.
- The cards you have added will show up. You can swipe up or down to find the card you want to use. The card you’ve used most recently will be at the top.
- Once the card is selected, hold your wrist close to the contactless card reader.
- The edge of the watch face will light up and you will feel a slight vibration as well, and you will see a tick on the watch screen. Your payment is complete!
That’s everything you need to know about how to use Garmin Pay! Looking for a Garmin watch to buy? Don’t forget to check out our excellent Garmin coverage.