When it comes to the world of contactless payments, smartwatches are (probably) the future. Many modern smartwatches come with NFC chips embedded, which unlock the potential for wearables to be used as contactless payment methods. However, while the hardware is there, companies such as Apple and Garmin are/were among those who have opted against supporting NFC payments via Apple Pay or Garmin Pay in Malaysia.
However, as Lowyat.net reports, Garmin has quietly extended support for Garmin Pay to Malaysian users—at long, long last. Garmin Malaysia didn’t make an announcement of any sort, but the SoyaCincau team have managed to get Garmin’s contactless payment setup process to work with a Maybank Visa credit card on a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus.
Twitter user @kep3n has also successfully tested out Garmin Pay with a Garmin Fenix 6, with a Maybank Visa debit card. However, when I tried to register a Maybank Mastercard credit card on the Garmin Vivomove Style, the Garmin Connect app responded with a message that the issuing bank is not supported.
We haven’t had the chance to make any actual payments just yet, although we’ll keep this article updated on any potential developments. You should be able to use Garmin Pay at any contactless payment terminals (just like Samsung Pay), which means that you’ll be able to use your Garmin smartwatch as a credit card alternative.
To set up Garmin Pay on your device, open the Garmin Connect app. Open the menu by hitting the triple line icon on the top-left corner of the homepage, and select Garmin Pay. Click “Get Started”, and enter in your relevant card details and information.
Do note that you’ll need a Garmin smartwatch that has NFC capabilities. A full list of supported devices can be viewed on the official site here. Meanwhile, only cards issued by selected banks will be compatible—although Garmin’s official list does not have any Malaysian banks listed at the time of writing.
We’ve reached out to representatives of Garmin Malaysia, and we expect to receive more (official) details on support for Garmin Pay, as well as info on supported banks and smartwatches.
Regardless, if Garmin’s contactless payment solution is indeed coming to Malaysia, it will be a significant win for the company. Apple, Fitbit, and Google—some of their wearable market rivals—have continued to ignore the Malaysian market for their smartwatch payment solutions, despite the relative success that Samsung has had with Samsung Pay.