Anyone who’s been watching the local tech news in recent weeks will know there’s been a rapid uptick in the number of mobile payment solutions available to South Africans. The latest is Garmin Pay, a contactless or tap-and-go payment solution that lets owners of specific Garmin wearable devices who bank with FNB make payments with a tap of the wrist at any retailers with the right point-of-sale (POS) device.
We mentioned Garmin Pay when we covered the launch of Fitbit Pay (and the same week Samsung Pay launched), but now we’ve had word from Garmin Southern Africa that it’s all systems go, with the service supporting all Visa-enabled FNB and RMB Private Bank cards. We’ve not had a chance to try Garmin Pay, but we’ll be doing so in the next week or two, and we’ll be sure to let you know how we fare.
Having tried FNB Pay, we suspect we’ll fare perfectly well. Paying with Fitbit Pay is as simple as opening the payments app on the smartwatch and then tapping it against the payment terminal, and Garmin Pay works in exactly the same way.
“With Garmin Pay, customers now have the freedom to leave their phone and wallet at home when they go to run or work out, and still be able to make purchases wherever their day takes them,” says Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales.
“This feature is an indispensable tool for any active lifestyle and we appreciate the support that card issuing banks have provided to make this exciting new feature available to their cardholders.”
Garmin says it hopes to add support for additional banks soon. As for supported devices, see the image above. In essence, Garmin Pay works with most of the companies more recent devices. We expect it’ll be supported on all except it’s most rudimentary future releases, but don’t expect we’ll see it added to older devices, probably because none of them have the requisite NFC chip.
Worried about security? Don’t be. For starters, to use the service you need a password on your wearable. Then there’s the way it handles transactions: “Garmin Pay protects you by using watch-specific card numbers and transaction codes every time you make a purchase… And your card number is not stored on your device, on our servers or passed to merchants when you pay.”
Still not sure it’s for you? Find out more about Garmin Pay over here.