Something that has been in the news lately, is the craze of mobile payment applications, which is funny because these apps have actually been around for quite a few years now. Apple Pay, the first one to launch, and the most used mobile payment at the moment, debuted in 2014, with the others following suit shortly afterward.
Over the years, many opted to use this form of payment method, for various reasons. However, many others are still trying to figure out whether they should try them out or not, perhaps even asking questions like how are they used exactly? and are there any risks involved? and if yes, what kind of risks?.
In this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about all of the three above-mentioned mobile payment methods, including how to use them, and how to make sure that you are secured at all times.
What exactly are Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay?
At the very basic, all of these three function more or less the same. The only difference is that, of course, what you will use depends on the type of mobile device that you have. So, let’s say you have an iPhone, then you would need to use Apple Pay, whereas if you have an Android, you would need to use Google Pay. Likewise, Samsung Pay is for Samsung users.
At the moment, these are the most popular options available, but it is very much possible for other mobile payment applications to be introduced on the market. Now, the way these applications work is very simple. Basically, they will make your phone function the same way as your contactless credit or debit card does.
What do I need to be able to use these applications?
In order to be able to use any of these applications, your phone needs to be NFC-enabled. NFC is the acronym for Near-Field Communications and what this basically is, is a chip that acts like the chip in your card that allows your mobile phone to communicate with payment terminals just like a contactless card would. Both Apple Pay and Google Pay require NFC to communicate with payment terminals, however, Samsung Pay also offers another option alongside NFC.
Samsung Pay supports MST, which stands for Magnetic Secure Transmission. This means that it can be used at any payment terminal that accepts contactless payments or the more traditional method of swiping cards through the reader.
How do I check if my phone is NFC-enabled?
As a general rule of thumb, if you have an iPhone 6 or later versions then the NFC is automatically enabled, whilst if you are an Android or Samsung user all you have to do is go to your connectivity settings and check if you have an option to turn on NFC. Normally, versions from 2016 onwards should have the option.
How do I get started?
So, after checking if your NFC is enabled, the first thing you need to do is download the app. After you open the app you will be asked to use the camera to capture information off your credit card. After that, it’s all plain sailing.
All you have to do is place your phone over the terminal and tap it against it and there you have it! What’s important for you to know is that, just like any contactless card, you can make purchases up to 30 euro and sometimes you may also find that the terminal itself will have a 30 euro cap.
How safe are these applications?
Contrary to what you might think, these apps are actually very safe and secure. The apps use a virtual account number when making payments which means that your details are never shared with your merchant. Therefore, in a way, this makes it more secure than when using your actual credit card when making transactions, since in this case, your details are being shared with the merchant.
However, it is still important that you make sure your phone is not easily accessible. When it comes to iPhones, this is already made easier because the Apple Pay requires that every transaction is authorised by Touch ID or password. Unfortunately though, when it comes to Google Pay, there isn’t such a security feature. Therefore, make sure to secure your phone with a password code or by setting up fingerprint recognition.
In reality though, there is also another option that might be more feasible for some people, or makes them feel more comfortable and secure; and that is that instead of scanning your credit card details and using that to make transactions on your phone, you can instead opt to use e-wallets in conjunction with your application, such as Interac.
Interac is a popular online payment method that is used for making online purchases, and most particularly, as a secure means of payment at online casinos. This e-wallet service works very similar to Paypal, in that you can transfer funds from your bank account to the e-wallet service so that when you make transactions your personal information is not shared with the merchant.
Now, although this is the same thing with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, since the information is encrypted, as we spoke about before, you still run the risk of somebody gaining access to your phone and making purchases from it without your consent. So, let’s say you lose your phone, since it is connected to your e-wallet you have the added benefit of transferring just the right amount of money you need to your e-wallet without having to worry about a great deal of money being used up.
So here you, we sincerely hope that this article has helped answer all of the questions you might have had about these mobile payment methods and how to use them. Although these methods are still not so widely used all over the world, experts have made the claim that most people will make purchases via their phone by 2020. Whether this will turn out to be true or not, is something we do not know. However, what we cannot deny is that smartphones are slowly redefining how we make payments.
Even if mobile payments do not completely replace traditional forms of payments, i.e. with cards, there is no doubt that they are very convenient and safe. If you happen to forget your wallet at home, or would like to leave your wallet at home, or are just in a hurry, you can just pull out your phone, tap it at the terminal and that’s it. And the fact that it the information is encrypted makes it even better.
Do you, or would you, use Google Pay, Apple Pay or Android Pay? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!