Garmin contactless payments go live on the Vivoactive 3 smartwatch, just about

If you’ve been itching to use your Garmin Vivoactive 3 smartwatch to its fullest potential — like making contactless payments when you’re been out and about — here’s some good news for you.

The tech company has just announced that Garmin Pay is now live in the United States and seven other countries, including Australia, for the Vivoactive 3. So if you’re out running without your phone and cash, there’s a chance you’ll be able to pay for sustenance with a simple flick of the wrist.

We say “a chance” because at launch you can only add Mastercards issued by a limited number of banks. In the U.S., the list currently includes BECU, Bank of America, Capital One, First Tech Federal Credit Union, and U.S. Bank. Support for more banks is coming “soon,” the company promised, and Vivoactive 3 owners with Visa cards will also be able to use Garmin Pay before long. For updates on compatibility, as well as support information for outside the U.S., check out this page on Garmin’s website.

Similar to Apple Pay and Android Pay, Garmin’s system, which is powered by the FitPay payment platform, also utilizes NFC (near field communication) technology, allowing users to make a payment without having to reach for their handset or wallet.

Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales, said in a release that Vivoactive 3 wearers “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.”

The Vivoactive 3, which starts at $300, was announced by Garmin at the IFA tech show in Berlin, Germany in August.

The successor to the Vivoactive HR features a round-faced Chroma color display with a single side-facing button. The GPS-enabled device also incorporates heart sensors for constant monitoring during workouts. Impressively, the battery is said to last for a whole week, though with GPS on this figure is cut dramatically to 13 hours.

An interesting feature on the Vivoactive 3 is Side Swipe. This lets you swipe the side of the watch to scroll through the menus if your don’t want to get your sweaty hands on the display.

To find out more, check out how the Vivoactive 3 fares against the latest Apple Watch and the Fitbit Ionic.


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