Garmin’s latest fitness watch goes head-to-head with Apple Watch as it launches Garmin Pay

Garmin’s latest fitness-focused smartwatch appears to be targeted directly at the Apple Watch market, with a $300 price tag and the inclusion of a contactless payment facility, Garmin Pay.

Like Apple Pay, Garmin Pay supports both Visa and Mastercard debit and credit cards from major banks, and it offers the same approach to security as the Apple Watch. It uses token-based payments, and entering a passcode activates the payment functionality while it is disabled as soon as the watch is taken off your wrist …

Garmin said that the feature was aimed at those who wanted to go on a run or ride without having to carry a wallet.

“Anyone who is out and about being active can relate to the struggle of where to stash a credit card or cash, and has had to forgo a post-workout snack or coffee as a result,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. “We’re solving that dilemma with Garmin Pay, an exciting feature on the new vívoactive 3. Use it pretty much wherever contactless payments are accepted, and give yourself one less thing to remember when you’re leaving the house.”

Rather than develop yet another payment platform, Garmin opted to use the Fitpay platform, a company specializing in adding contactless payment capabilities to third-party wearable devices.

The Vivoactive 3 can pair with your iPhone for notifications, and offers a range of apps for things like controlling smart lighting. The focus of the device, though, is firmly on fitness tracking and health.

With Elevate wrist-based heart rate and over 15 built-in indoor and outdoor sports apps, the vívoactive 3 is packed with features to keep up with a varied active lifestyle. Multiple passions? Not a problem. Cardio class on Tuesday and yoga on Wednesday? This smartwatch can handle it […]

Users can access fitness monitoring features including VO2 max and fitness age which provide valuable data to monitor changes in fitness level. All-day stress tracking is also available on the vívoactive 3 by monitoring HRV (heart rate variability) data. The ability to view both current stress levels at the wrist and a longer timetable of stress on Garmin Connect allows customers to identify patterns and consider making lifestyle changes to avoid or better cope with stress-inducing situations. A Four-Fold Breath relaxation timer further helps users balance stress and rest.

The wearable is available in three models, a black/stainless and white/stainless, each at $299.99, and a black/slate at $329.99.

Garmin offers a huge range of wearables at prices ranging from under $100 to over $700.

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