Fitbit has always been a contrarian. When people said smartwatches are on the way out, it launched its own smartwatches. When the market seemed to coalesce around Apple watchOS and Wear OS by Google, it struck off on its own with its own wearable OS. And despite the handful of mobile payment systems competing in the market, it jumped into the fray with its own Fitbit Pay, an investment that may be paying off now that you can pay for your rides in seven systems around the world.
Fitbit is probably the last company you’d expect to launch its own mobile payment system. It doesn’t have much of an ecosystem beyond fitness wearables and apps but that is exactly what it did nearly two years ago. And now, the company says Fitbit Pay is available in 42 countries and supported by over 300 banks and credit unions globally.
It actually makes a bit of sense if you consider that a fitness tracker is something you have on your body all the time. Fitbit is positioning this new capability as a secure and convenient way for commuters to pay for their ride without having to pull out their wallets or even their phone. And with Fitbit Pay’s security features, the company promises they won’t have to worry about hacks and frauds either.
Starting May 31, Fitbit Pay will be available on open and closed loop systems in this territories:
– Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
– Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA)
– Sydney transport for New South Wales (NSW)
– Taiwan iPASS
– TransLink in Vancouver
– Transport for London (TfL)
It is, however, perhaps proudest of its partnership with the Transportation Authority(MTA) and being part of its One Metro New York (OMNY) contactless fare payment pilot program. Of course, not all Fitbit wearables will enjoy that prestige and only those with NFC chips, like the Fitbit Charge 3 Special Edition,Fitbit Versa Special Edition, and Fitbit Ionic, will be supported.