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(Pocket-lint) - Garmin Pay is similar to Fitbit Pay, Apple PayGoogle Pay, and Samsung Pay. It is a mobile payment system that works with contactless payment readers so that you can check out at a store, right from your wrist, without needing your wallet or phone.

For example, with Garmin Pay, you can be out for a run, stop to buy a bottle of water, and pay for it with just your Garmin device.

Here's what you need to know about Garmin Pay, including which devices offer it and how it works.

What is Garmin Pay?

Garmin Pay works just like rival contactless payment systems. With a compatible Garmin watch, you can pay for stuff by holding your wrist near a contactless card reader - that's it. There's no need to fumble for your phone, wallet, cards, or cash.

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How to set up Garmin Pay

Setting up Garmin Pay is easy. All you have to do is go to the Garmin Connect mobile app on your smartphone, then tap the Garmin Devices section (located under the More tab, right above the Settings menu), and choose your compatible device - for example Vivoactive 3 or Forerunner 645. From there, select Garmin Pay.

If you're unsure if Garmin Pay works with your device, card, or bank, tap the blue help link at the bottom of the next screen.

When you're ready, tap Create Your Wallet. You'll then be prompted to create a four-digit passcode to keep the virtual wallet on your watch secure. After, add your MasterCard or Visa card, which is what Garmin Pay will use to make your purchases. First, select the card type, then manually enter your card data, or scan it using your phone's camera, but be sure to enter your the verification code that you received via SMS.

Once the verification and tokenisation process is complete, the card will be added to your wallet. You can view the card by tapping Garmin Pay and then Manage Your Wallet. You will see options to temporarily suspend or delete a card from you wallet at any time.

Which cards/banks support Garmin Pay?

Garmin Pay works with "many credit and debit cards from major banks," as well as "many major credit and debit cards, including Visa and MasterCard." Now, here's the thing: although cards from MasterCard and Visa are all compatible, you won't be able to use them unless your bank is supported. If they aren't, you can't connect your card.

Both Apple Pay and Google Pay took a while to get banks onboard with their respective mobile payment technologies, so it will take a while for your bank to be supported.

Santander is the first major bank in the UK to support Garmin Pay contactless payments. Both personal and business customers with credit and debit cards can take advantage of the support.

Using Garmin Pay in a store

Garmin Pay works anywhere that accepts contactless payments, which includes over a million stores. Just look for the contactless payments symbol near card readers during checkout.

While stores may not have a specific Garmin Pay accepted logo in their window alongside Apple Pay and Google Pay, if you see a contactless payment symbol, you should be able to use your Garmin device to pay.

The following US and UK stores are among the huge numbers that accept contactless payments and work with Apple Pay as well as Google Pay:

  • Starbucks, Bloomingdales, Disney, Duane Reade, Macy's, McDonalds, Nike, Petco, Staples, Subway, Unleashed, Walgreens, Whole Foods, Boots, Bill's, Dune, Waitrose, M&S, Wagamama, Nando's, Liberty, and Lidl
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How to make a payment with Garmin Pay

On your watch, press and hold the action button to bring up the Navigation Controls menu. Then, tap the virtual wallet icon and enter your four-digit passcode. You will be prompted to enter your passcode every 24 hours or after every time you put the watch back on after taking it off. Once the wallet is open, your last-used card will automatically appear, but you can always switch to a different card.

To switch, just swipe down on your screen to the next one. Once you've picked a card, your watch will prompt you to hold your wrist near a contactless card reader. The outer edge of your watch face will light up green after a few moments to indicate the purchase is complete, and then it'll return to your default watch face once done. And that's it.

Note: Three incorrect attempts at entering your passcode will lock your virtual wallet on the watch itself. You'll have to go to the Garmin Connect Mobile app on your smartphone to set a new passcode. (You will need to re-enter your old passcode at this point. If you don't remember it, Garmin will delete your entire virtual wallet to protect you. If this occurs, repeat the set up steps above).

Garmin Pay is available on the 53 of its current devices, as well as some older ones. You can view the full list on Garmin's website, but below is a summary of a few of the devices supported.

  • Garmin Vivoactive - 4, 4s, 3, 3 Music
  • Garmin Forerunner - 645, 645 Music, 745, 945
  • Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - X & S
  • Garmin Fenix 6 - Pro Solar, Solar, Pro, Sapphire, S Pro Solar, S Pro, S Sapphire, S, X Pro, X Sapphire, X Pro Solar
  • Garmin Venu - Venu Sq, Venu Sq Music,
  • Garmin D2 Delta
  • Garmin Legacy series
  • Garmin Vivomove - Luxe, Style

Anything else you should know?

Aside from the passcode you created during setup, you won't need any other authentication, such as a fingerprint scan, but you might not be able to do large payments. In the UK, contactless payment transactions are often limited to £45, while some US banks limit them to $50.

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Writing by Maggie Tillman and Elyse Betters. Editing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 5 September 2017.