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Garmin Releasing Its Second NFC-enabled Garmin Pay Product

The technology in the company's vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 645 Music watches consists of NXP Semiconductors' Secure Element and Loader Service for secure NFC-enabled transactions and integration to bank service companies.
By Claire Swedberg
Mar 27, 2018

NXP Semiconductors and wearable technology company Garmin International have teamed up to offer Near Field Communication (NFC) payment capability in the latter's mobile payment solution, known as Garmin Pay, built into several sports-based wristband products. The vivoative 3 and Forerunner 645 Music watches each come with a built-in NXP 13.56 MHz NFC PN802 embedded Secure Element (SE) micro controller circuit compliant with the ISO 14443 standard. The wristbands can then be used with NFC readers at the point of sale (POS) to accomplish payments without the need for a credit card or wallet.

In addition to the NFC-based hardware, NXP, based in Eindoven, the Netherlands, is also providing its Loader Service solution to Garmin Pay-based devices that integrate payment transactions with the Garmin Pay wallet, powered by Fit Pay Inc. The solution ensures a secure payment for users, says Charles Dachs, NXP's VP and general manager of secure embedded transactions.

Garmin's vivoactive 3 (left) and Forerunner 645 Music watches
The vivoactive 3 has been commercially available in most areas of the world since September 2017, while the Forerunner 645 Music was announced in January of this year and is expected to be released to consumers soon, according to Nate Ahuna, Garmin International's business-development manager.

The vivoactive 3 is a GPS-enabled smart watch that tracks a wearer's heart rate and activity level, as well as the time, while also enabling contactless payments. Setup is accomplished in the Garmin App. A user can simply download the app, tap Garmin Pay, make sure the system is available in his or her area and then set up the wallet. To do this, a person would need to enter a four-digit password, then add at least one credit card number to the wallet (which can be used for payments), or scan the code with the phone's camera. Once the data has been verified, it is stored in the wallet.

To make a payment, a user presses and holds the action button to bring up the control menu on the watch's face. He or she is prompted to enter the password, after which the wallet appears on the screen of the watch. The user then holds the wristband within close range of a Garmin Pay POS device, which captures the tag ID number and payment information, and the Garmin system deducts the appropriate funds for that purchase from his or her account.

The Forerunner 645 Music watch is intended for runners, the companies report. A user can download up to 500 songs onto the watch, connecting to headphones via Bluetooth. It also enables the activity-tracking functionality and the same Garmin Pay contactless payment solution.

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