What is Garmin Pay, how does it work, and which banks support it?

  • 4 min read
  • May 02, 2023

Garmin Pay is similar to Fitbit Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Here's how it works and what devices and banks support it.

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Garmin Pay is similar to Fitbit Pay, Apple Pay, and Google 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. Your linked device will be at the top of the page. In the following menu, you'll see the option for Garmin Pay. (You can also get to Garmin Pay setup through the settings menu.)

You'll then be prompted to add your MasterCard or Visa card (or Maestro or Discover), which is what Garmin Pay will use to make your purchases. First, select the card type, then manually enter your card data. You'll also have to enter a security code that you'll be sent.

You will also need a passcode on your watch to secure it - this is a four digit PIN code.

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. You will see options to temporarily suspend or delete a card from your wallet at any time when you tap on the card in the Garmin Connect app.

Using Garmin Pay in a store

Garmin Pay works anywhere that accepts contactless payments. 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.

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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 app on your phone 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.)

Which devices work with Garmin Pay?

Garmin Pay is available on 64 of Garmin's current devices. 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 - 265, 265S, 645, 645 Music, 745, 945
  • Garmin Fenix 6 and 7 - 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, Venu 2
  • Garmin Vivomove - Luxe, Style
  • Garmin epix (2nd gen)
  • Garmin MARQ (2nd gen)

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. Some traditional banks don't support Garmin Pay, but many online banks or card providers do - so if you're bank isn't supported, you might consider opening an new account to give you access.

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.