KBC launches Garmin Pay
Robyn Hamilton
Staff Writer

KBC Bank has launched Garmin Pay for its Irish customers. KBC is the only bank in Ireland to offer digital wallets from four of the world’s leading technology companies; Apple Pay, Google Pay, FitBit Pay and now Garmin Pay. This new innovation will give customers the option to pay for goods and services at the flick of a wrist with their Garmin smartwatches.

The latest development builds on KBC’s drive to transform banking in response to customer demand for easy, secure, digitally-led solutions.

This newest contactless payment solution from popular sports device company Garmin will see KBC Bank Current Account and Credit Card customers able to pay for goods and services on the move using their Garmin smartwatch, with both the Forerunner 645 and Vivoactive 3 models compatible.

KBC continues to make health and wellbeing as well as innovation a focus and this new partnership is a perfect fit, offering customers another option to pair their financial wellbeing with their fitness lifestyle, having already launched FitBit Pay last year.

The launch of Garmin Pay comes from KBC’s Innovation Hub in Dublin and is enabled by KBC Group’s €1.5 billion investment in transforming the bank’s digital capabilities Europe-wide.

How does Garmin Pay work?  

The Garmin Pay technology works at any point of sale terminal where contactless payment is available, much in the same fashion as Apple Pay, Google Pay or FitBit Pay. The customer simply selects their KBC card from their digital wallet, taps the watch face against the payment terminal in-store and verifies the transaction using a four-digit code.

Is Garmin Pay safe to use?

Garmin Pay transactions have enhanced safeguards. Using an industry standard tokenisation platform, (the likes of which you’ll also find in other digital wallets) a user’s card information is never revealed or shared with merchants or Garmin. Plus, a protected PIN is chosen by the user during the Garmin Wallet set-up for an added layer of protection.

Sonya Geelon, Head of Mastercard in Ireland said: “KBC is very progressive in its approach to bringing new digital experiences to its customers, and we are keen to support them by making transactions secure and easy. Encryption technology allows us to create what we call ‘digital tokens’ on wearables and other devices.  This means that no card details are shared with retailers when making a payment because they aren’t even stored on the device. These levels of security allow us to create new ways to pay so consumers have greater choice and greater convenience.”

KBC, digital fitness and you

Eddie Dillion, Director of Innovation, KBC Bank Ireland, said: “For KBC customers, the launch of Garmin Pay is about combining fitness, lifestyle and banking in a way that works for the modern consumer. As a society, we’re rapidly moving towards mobile tap and go payments, using our watches, fitness trackers and smartphones to do everything from pay for a coffee to apply for a personal loan. The future of banking is changing, and KBC is responding fast. From KBC’s Innovation Hub, we’re bringing new market innovations and digital experiences to customers for a better banking experience. We’re delighted to launch Garmin Pay and build on KBC’s growing list of innovative firsts for customers.”

KBC states that its statistics show that customers are highly engaged when it comes to digital banking. Mobile log-ins have increased by 49% year-on-year and transactions from KBC’s mobile app are up by 58% year-on-year compared to Q1 last year.

Earlier this year, KBC also launched a unique digital lending proposition which enables new and existing current account customers to apply for a personal loan and/or overdraft, receive a credit decision on their application and the cash in their account within the hour – all from their mobile phone. Overdrafts of between €300 and €7,000 and personal loans of between €5,000 and €20,000 are available.

Interested in Garmin Pay?

If you’re the kind of tech-savvy fitness fan who would love to take advantage of something like Garmin Pay but you’re not a KBC customer, why not considering switching current accounts? It’s a relatively quick and easy process, despite what you might think.

Get the ball rolling by comparing current accounts now.