Today, startups FitPay and NXT-ID announced a partnership with Visa that will grow their joint platform’s international footprint in support of their recently-released payments product, Garmin Pay.
Michael Orlando, NXT-ID COO and FitPay co-founder, president and CEO, said the Visa partnership is a significant move in terms of the platform’s overall footprint and the availability of Garmin Pay around the world.
The partnership increases the product’s availability across seven countries by adding another eight or nine additional issuing banks. That’s on top of those with which FitPay and NXT-ID already partner through collaborations with Mastercard, Capital One and others, Orlando said.
Unlike other “Pays,” Orlando highlighted that this tokenized payment platform is not tied to a proprietary device and program. This differs from the way Apple Pay is tied to Apple devices and Samsung Pay to Samsung devices. Garmin Pay is currently live on Garmin’s multipurpose smartwatch fitness tracker wearable, but it is available to any manufacturer — thus democratizing the Pay capability for the first time.
“This opens up the floodgates for NFC and contactless payments to take off and become a significant part of the cashless strategy for card networks, device manufacturers and IoT providers,” Orlando said.
Once the Pay product is live with Visa, Orlando said the companies will be adding support for new banks on a daily and weekly basis, which should give the startup team a strong boost going into Q1 of 2018. He expects the offering to take off in 2018, as networks have expressed enthusiasm about its democratized availability.
FitPay and NXT-ID have a number of other device partnerships in the pipeline, including a multipurpose near field communication (NFC) ring that has sold out in the pre-order phase and will begin shipping in the new year; a payment-only key fob with fingerprint biometric authentication, called Bee; and a smart clasp by Wearatec for analog watches in the luxury market.