Fitbit Pay Launches in U.K. for Starling Bank Customers

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Fitbit Pay officially launched in the U.K. on Tuesday, but with only one bank currently supporting the mobile payment platform, access to it remains severely restricted for users of the company's latest wearables.

The Fitbit Pay payment system was introduced as an exclusive feature of the Fitbit Ionic, the activity tracker firm's first attempt at a smartwatch, released on October 1. The digital wallet works in a similar way to Apple Pay on the Apple Watch, but up until now it wasn't available outside of the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

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Fitbit Pay users in the United Kingdom need to hold an account with Starling Bank, a newcomer and relative minnow on the financial banking scene, which will undoubtedly leave the majority of Ionic owners unable to take advantage of the payment system, at least for now.

Fitbit has confirmed the company is in talks with other U.K. banking services for future support, but with rivals like Apple Pay, which lists over 25 supporting banks on its official website, as well as Android Pay (over 20 banks) and Samsung Pay all jostling for contention, Fitbit will have a job gaining a foothold in the emerging mobile payment industry.

You can check out our in-depth review of the Fitbit Ionic here. Fitbit Pay is expected to land in other European countries sometime next year.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

James_C Avatar
42 months ago
Starling Bank - Lol, to be honest not sure that counts as 'UK' launch, as they are tiny. First time I have ever heard of them.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sheza Avatar
42 months ago

As far as I can see that is not a launched feature now, or if it is I can’t find it!

The marketplace does exist but so far the only partner that you can actually sue is the flux receipts thing (which only works at a specific store in Shoreditch and EAT stores)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vmistery Avatar
42 months ago
Just opened an account with them as a backup, App seems ok if still not as feature full as a larger Bank. Registered with Apple Pay quickly and simply and features like setting a pin or freezing a card are available within the app which is nice. Not applicable to me as it’s not my main bank account however it also has some monitoring capabilities giving you a breakdown of where you spend your money.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mike... Avatar
42 months ago
I've lived in the UK my whole life. I've never even heard of Starling Bank, nevermind Fitbit Pay. Is this really going to tempt people away from their contactless debit and credit cards? I doubt it.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mariotr87 Avatar
42 months ago

Starling Bank - Lol, to be honest not sure that counts as 'UK' launch, as they are tiny. First time I have ever heard of them.

Well, they do have a pretty strong presence in this new whole "FinTech" thing; a new breed of (usually) app-only banks that aim to build the infrastructure using modern technologies (such as AWS and micro services) as opposed to in-house, proprietary equipment.

I've given a couple of these a try (Starling Bank and Monzo) and I'm quite pleased so far. Starling Bank is also the first bank in the UK with in-app Apple Pay card provisioning. You can go from downloading the app to spending using Apple Pay in literally minutes, it was quite surprising!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thisisnotmyname Avatar
42 months ago
I keep wondering when Fitbit will become the next blackberry
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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