Discover Card Users Can Now Use Garmin Pay for Mobile Payments

January 31, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Garmin has long been known as a navigation tool maker, and recently, it brought mobile payments into its dominion thanks to a connection with FitPay. Now, Garmin has stepped up its mobile payments capability with a new connection to Discover, which it recently sent word our way about. With the new connection, Garmin Pay users can now connect their Discover cards and put that combination to work.

Several Garmin devices will allow for the combined Garmin Pay / Discover front, including the Forerunner 645, the Forerunner 645 Music, the fenix 5 Plus, and the D2 Delta aviator watch. Adding the Discover card will allow for payments directly from the watch itself.

Of course, it’s not as easy as go anywhere and pay; the retailer first has to accept the Discover card, which can be a bit of a challenge in its own right. Then, the retailer also has to be set up to accept near field communications (NFC) transactions, which not every retailer is either.

Garmin’s Dan Bartel, vice president of global consumer sales, noted “We are excited to provide our customers and Discover cardmembers with another way to pay while they are on the go. Having the ability to easily pay for purchases, without the need for a phone or wallet, is a feature that we are happy to bring to users who live an active lifestyle.”

One more option. That’s the best way to summarize the Garmin / Discover connection: one more option. This likely isn’t going to make a big splash. There probably aren’t that many Garmin / Discover users in tandem to make a big hit on the market, and Garmin’s addition of Discover likely isn’t going to break too many Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or similar users out of their current positions. In fact, Garmin may not even manage to get all its own users in the fold since many of them are likely already using iPhones or Samsung devices instead.

Anyone who’s entering the mobile payments market must have a particular, and preferably peculiar, advantage in order to truly get anywhere. The major competitors are sufficiently entrenched that only real innovation will draw users to a new platform any more, and Garmin’s likely to find that out directly.