How to use any UK bank with Garmin Pay

A photo of Tom in a field in Corsica. The sun is shining!
November 6, 2021
November 6, 2021

I have started to take exercise a little more seriously now that I am preparing for a triathlon. I picked up a Garmin Forerunner 6S to start tracking swims and runs with more accuracy and sport specific data than the trusty Apple Watch can provide.

The Garmin is exceptional for exercise tracking - but I've started to miss the convenience of Apple Pay. I don't really want to lug a wallet around with me just in case I fancy a coffee & cake after a run.

Garmin have a payments feature on the watch called Garmin Pay, but unfortunately the list of supported banks leaves quite a lot to be desired. I had accepted that my bank wasn't going to work with Garmin Pay, and that was that. Or was it...

Which banks support Garmin Pay?

The list of supported banks for Garmin Pay in the UK is pretty disappointing.

As of November 2021, these banks support Garmin Pay:

  • Cornèrcard: VISA
  • Danske Bank: MASTERCARD
  • FinecoBank: VISA
  • Prepaid Financial Services: MASTERCARD
  • Revolut: MASTERCARD
  • Revolut: VISA
  • Santander: MASTERCARD
  • Santander: VISA
  • Starling Bank: MASTERCARD
  • TransferWise: MASTERCARD
  • TransferWise: VISA
  • Wirecard Card Solutions Limited: MASTERCARD

I had accepted I was never going to be able to get a coffee after a run if I left my wallet home, until my memory clicked and I realised what Curve meant for my coffee seeking post-workout brain...

Curve means you can link any UK debit account or credit card to Garmin Pay

If you're never heard of them, the key feature of Curve for this problem is that it's a special card that instantly charges whatever you buy on it to another card.

Back in the day, this was awesome for linking your Curve Mastercard to an American Express, so that you could rack up points wherever AMEX wasn't accepted. Unfortunately that's been shut down so it doesn't work any more.

Curve is free, although they have some paid options for some other features. They also offer 1% cash back up to £20 on your first 30 days of purchases.

It's pretty easy to link any UK bank to Garmin Pay, all you need to do is:

  1. Sign up for a free Curve account.
  2. Link your existing bank card to Curve
  3. Curve will generate a unique card number, expiry date, and CVC
  4. Pop the Curve card details into Garmin Pay on the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone, and setup a pin to use before authorising contactless transactions

That's all there is to it - now any charges to your Curve card will pass through to your other UK bank / credit card - even if they're not supported by Garmin Pay. Magic!

How do you use Garmin Pay on the watch?

Once you've set it up - I realised I had no idea how to prompt a contactless payment on my watch. To save you the Google - hold down the light button, then scroll around the to the Wallet icon. You'll then have to enter the pin you set up, and contacless payments will turn on so you can complete your transaction.

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