Fitbit Pay: everything you need to know about the new mobile payment service

The Fitbit Ionic is the first ever smartwatch from the brand, offering new fitness routines, a waterproof design so it can properly track your swims and built-in GPS so you can track your runs without your phone.

Fitbit's Ionic is also the first device from the company to be able to bring mobile payments to your wrist, meaning you can be out for a jog without your wallet or phone and still buy a bottle of water on the way.

Rather than using Android Pay, Apple Pay or any of the other mobile payment systems it uses its own, called Fitbit Pay. Here's everything you need to know about the new alternative payment system:

How does Fitbit Pay work?

Fitbit Pay will work with all contactless payment readers. You'll be able to connect your account to your Fitbit Ionic and then tap your watch on the payment reader to complete a transaction in a similar way to Apple Watch or Android Wear devices.

The service may come to other devices in the future - such as the rumored Charge 3 and Blaze 2 - but right now it's just available on the Ionic.

You won't need any other authentication, but it's worth noting it won't be able to do large payments. In the UK transactions are limited to £30 and most banks in the US limit it to $50.

Will my bank be compatible with Fitbit Pay?

This is where it gets a little bit more complicated - Android, Apple and a few other services have struggled to get banks onboard with the mobile payment tech so it may take a while for your account to be supported.

Credit and debit cards from American Express, Mastercard and Visa will all be compatible, but won't be able to be used unless the bank you use has signed up with Fitbit. If they haven't, you won't be able to connect your card to the Ionic.

At launch, compatible banks include ANZ, Banco Santander, Bank of America, Capital One, HSBC, KBC Bank Ireland, Royal Bank of Canada, and US Bank. Other banks that will support Fitbit Pay are sure to be announced soon.

When will Fitbit Pay launch?

Fitbit is expected to put the Ionic on sale at some point in October this year in the US, UK, Australia and a lot of other territories around the world.

Fitbit Pay is expected to launch at the same time as the Ionic, but it may take a bit longer for the company to roll it out to where you live, and we're expecting the US to get the bulk of the banks and updates to Fitbit Pay first. 

We'll keep this guide updated as that changes though - so check back if you want to know when a key feature of the new Fitbit Ionic smartwatch is enabled.

Below you can see our hands on video with the Fitbit Ionic

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.