Garmin Pay Guide. How do I Use it?

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What is Garmin Pay?

Garmin Pay, is a digital wallet on your watch, that lets you pay for things from your wrist. It’s a growing trend the tech companies are pushing and you may have heard of some of the alternatives. Apple, Google, Samsung and Fitbit all have contactless payment solutions using smartphone or watch tech.

Set up takes about 5 minutes, and allows you to make payments solely from your watch. No need to have your phone with you. In exercise scenarios this has its advantages.

  • Perhaps you don’t like taking your wallet and bank cards out with you on exercise. Should you need a coffee and cake (or even beer!) to finish off that bike ride, you can refuel without needing your wallet.
  • If you get injured on a run and can’t make your way back, you could pay for a taxi using a contactless payment from your Garmin.

What do I need to use Garmin Pay?

To set up and use Garmin Pay you’re going to need a couple of things…

Firstly, a compatible Garmin smartwatch with the right hardware built inside. During Garmin Pay transactions, the watch communicates with a card reader using an NFC chip. I’ll list the Garmin models which have the right tech in this guide.

Next you should own a smartphone that supports the Garmin Connect app. Whilst not required when transacting, this is needed during the set up process to add a card and secure with a passcode.

Lastly, you need a credit or debit account with a bank which accepts Garmin Pay.


Which watches are Garmin Pay compatible?

The good news is Garmin Pay is already compatible with over 30 releases and across a broad range of product lines. This includes Forerunner running watches, multi-sport smartwatches in the vivo lineup and a host of Marvel and Stars Wars designs.

  • Forerunner 945
  • Forerunner 645
  • Forerunner 645 Music
  • fenix 6 (including Pro and Sapphire Editions)
  • fenix 6S (including Pro and Sapphire editions)
  • fenix 6X Pro and Sapphire Editions
  • fenix 6X – Pro Solar Edition
  • fenix 5 Plus
  • fenix 5S Plus
  • fenix 5X Plus
  • Venu
  • vivoactive 4
  • vivoactive 4s
  • vivoactive 3
  • vivoactive 3 Music
  • vivomove Style
  • vivomove Luxe
  • Rey
  • Darth Vader
  • Captain Marvel
  • First Avenger
  • Approach S62
  • D2 Delta S
  • D2 Delta
  • D2 Delta PX
  • MARQ Driver
  • MARQ Aviator
  • MARQ Captain
  • MARQ Athlete
  • MARQ Commander
  • MARQ Adventurer
  • quatix 6
  • quatix 6 Titanium
  • tactix Delta – Sapphire Edition

The list does seem limited to smartwatches, and doesn’t cover any releases you would define as activity bands like the vivofit or vivosmart releases. As hardware is needed to function Garmin Pay, don’t expect the feature to roll out onto older models, more likely we’ll start to see it added into a broader range of releases in the future.


Does my bank support Garmin Pay?

Available in over 50 countries and hundreds of participating banks, there’s a good chance a provider near you will support Garmin Pay. The list is ever growing so for the most up to date list, check Garmin’s official list of participating banks.

In the UK, where I live, there are 10 participating banks. What’s interesting is the greater adoption from the emerging disrupter banks such as Revolut and Starling. Of the big 4 UK banks, only Santander supports the feature. Currently no compatibility with accounts from HSBC, Lloyds (includes Halifax), or RBS (includes Natwest).

Other countries have much greater adoption. For instance in France, a user of a MAX card can make any credit or debit card compatible with Garmin Pay.


How do I set up Garmin Pay?

My walkthrough example covers enabling Garmin Pay on the Forerunner 645 Music, in the UK using an iPhone and Starling bank account. The screens may look different depending on your smartphone, Garmin watch, location and who you bank with, but should be similar.

1) Open the Garmin Connect app, tap “More” and select Garmin Pay

2) If you’re new to Garmin Pay you’ll see this screen. Press “Get Started”

In future, this area becomes where you manage your cards.

3) Create a 4 digit passcode

You’ll need to enter this on the watch whenever you want to transact using Garmin Pay. It can be a completely different number to your card PIN. Once entered on Garmin Connect, you’ll be asked to confirm the 4 digit code again.

4) Select your credit or debit card

Choose a debit or credit card that’s Visa, Mastercard, Maestro or Discover. A link appears at the bottom to check if your card is supported.

5) Read the terms and conditions

Links on this page, pass through to the Garmin Pay terms and conditions and Garmin’s privacy policy. Only continue if you’re happy with the terms.

6) Prepare your watch for Garmin Pay

Knowing which of your devices are compatible, Garmin will then attempt to prepare your watch for Garmin Pay. Make sure your watch is in range.

7) Add your card details

For your chosen bank account, you’ll then need to type in your card number, expiration month, expiration year and security code.

8) Once entered, Garmin will validate the details with your bank

Nothing for you to do on this step other than wait.

9) Read more terms and conditions.

Once my card was validated, I then received another set of terms and conditions, which now feature my chosen bank.

10) Verify your card

On the page, you’ll now see some details pull through. I’ve blanked out my personal details but here’s what you should see…

  • A) The last 4 digits of your 16 digit card number
  • B) Device account number. This number won’t be familiar to you, but is used by your device in place of your real bank account number.
  • C) Mobile number, make sure this is correct, so you can pass the 2 step verification.

Bear in mind, the verification steps probably differ depending on who you bank with.

11) Open text message and verify

Where:

  • B) Device account number
  • C) Mobile number
  • D) Verification code: My messages picked this up automatically, otherwise enter the code into the text field and press Verify.

12) Once verification passed you will have a card in your Garmin Pay Wallet

Success! As seen below, I now have a card in my Garmin Pay wallet. This is the same screen from step 2. From here you can opens up details of the card including:

  • Tap the card to view more information. This includes option to suspend card, see half of your device account number and quick links for banking support.
  • Press the three dots, to add another card or view a list of Garmin Pay participating banks.

How do I transact with Garmin Pay?

Now you’re set up and ready to transact with your watch. Here’s how I did it on a Forerunner 645 Music.

1) Open up wallet

Your Garmin should have a Wallet option in the menu. On my device I reached this by holding the light button for about 2 seconds. Use up and down to cycle to the Wallet option and select it.

2) Enter your 4 digit passcode

Remember that passcode you entered on step 3 of set up? Use the up and down buttons, to circle round to each number and start to select a number. Once you’ve selected four numbers, if the code is corrected you’ll get to the next step.

3) With contactless enabled, wave your watch over the card reader

You’ll now see your card on the screen, and the contactless icon. Put this near the card reader to transact.

The blue border around the edge of the watch is a countdown, possibly for 30-60 seconds. That’s how long you have to transact, otherwise the watch stops transmitting and passcode will need to be entered again.

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I'm a super keen injured runner with over 20 years experience in races and endurance training. Get in touch with me over Twitter, G+ on in the comments below.

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