According to various analyses and forecasts released by experts in the field, it is expected that, during 2019, more than 900 million people worldwide will use their mobile devices to make payments. In 2020 the figure will exceed 1 billion people. There is no doubt that mobile payments have managed to penetrate society deeply, mainly due to the ease of use and how convenient it can be to purchase with the simple gesture of bringing the mobile closer to the point of sale terminal – POS–.
However, there are still those who are reluctant to use this type of technology, either due to ignorance or because they have not stopped to think about the advantages of this type of system. Therefore, in this guide, we want to review everything there is to know about mobile payments: from how it works to compatible mobile phones and banks.
Mobile payments: how they work
Although there are several different types and technologies of mobile payments, mobile proximity payment is the most common and used by both users and businesses today. To do this, you need a smartphone-compatible with a specific technology, be it NFC or MST, which will be used to carry out the transaction when bringing the device closer to the payment terminal.
The operation of this technology is very similar to that of credit cards and debit contactless, and indeed in most establishments accepting these cards will also possibly make mobile payments. To be able to make a payment with the mobile phone in a store or establishment where this type of transaction is supported, it will be enough to bring the mobile phone with the NFC activated – in some cases, it will not even be necessary to open the corresponding payment app – to the terminal, and after a few seconds, the process will be finished.
Are they safe?
The ease of use and the rapid implementation of this system by smartphone manufacturers have also generated no positive consequences. For example, today, some think that these payments are not entirely safe. But is it so?
In our complete guide to Google Pay Google’s, official payments platform and native to Android, we already explained how these types of payment services “hide” the user’s accurate banking information and instead use the virtual account or card numbers so that sensitive data is never shared with the establishment where the purchase is made.
This, of course, is not unique to Google Play. In the case of Samsung Pay, the card data is stored and encrypted so that all the information remains safe. In addition to sharing a virtual card number that replaces the real one, payments must be confirmed through some biometric security system.
In short, we could say that mobile payments are just as safe as payments with a credit or debit card, or even more since generally the bank details remain secret during the entire transaction process, and also in case of loss or theft of the smartphone, it would be possible to deactivate the payment methods through another device.
Does it carry any commission? How much is the minimum that can be paid with the mobile?
As I was saying, paying with your mobile is equivalent in almost all respects to paying with a card. Therefore, neither your bank nor the establishment where you decide to make the purchase will charge you any commission.
As for whether there is a minimum payment figure, I am afraid it will depend on the establishment itself. Although at present there is no type of regulation regarding whether or not stores and premises can impose a minimum, which causes that some establishments only allow paying with a card – and therefore, also with a mobile phone- – those purchases over 10 euros. Be that as it may, in the places where it is, the customer should be notified before purchasing a visible advertisement when accessing the site of purchase.
What are merchants compatible with mobile payments?
There is not a complete list of all the establishments accepting payments via mobile. Since to carry out this type of transaction, a payment terminal compatible with contactless technology is required, to know if a store, restaurant, cafeteria, or any kind of premises in question accepts payments with your mobile, you have to look for one of the symbols that appear in the image above these lines.
You have convinced me, how can I pay with my mobile?
We’ve already seen how mobile payments work and why they are among the fastest and most convenient ways to make payments. Now, what good is all this if your mobile phone or your bank does not offer support for this technology? In the case of devices, it is simple: if you have a mobile with NFC, you can make payments. If not, I’m afraid that all you have to do is change your mobile, or resort to one of the solutions that some banks offer to their clients – I’ll talk about this later.
If your mobile has NFC, it is compatible with mobile payments.
Another detail to consider is that some manufacturers, mainly those based in China, incorporate limited NFC chips into their mobile phones, which can only be used to make payments through a specific service – usually that of the manufacturer itself. Although this is a more minor and less common practice, you should keep it in mind and ensure that your device has a fully unlocked NFC chip.
Set up your mobile to pay
Taking all this into account, you need to configure your mobile to make payments. The first step will, of course, be to activate NFC connectivity. This can be done directly by displaying the quick settings panel and looking for the NFC button or through the phone’s connectivity settings.
The second thing will be to configure the desired payment method. To do this, the steps to follow are as follows:
- Open the System Settings, and go to the “Applications” section.
- Click on the menu “Default applications.”
- Look for the option “Touch and pay,” Inside, choose the default payment app you want to use, be it Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or another different one. You can also decide if this application will always be used, except if another payment app is in the foreground.
But there is a problem, and it is that not only the mobile is an essential factor when making mobile payments. Your mobile may include NFC, but your bank is incompatible with any of the mobile payment systems that currently exist. Today, in Spain, these are the options that exist, and the banks compatible with each of them :
The Google payments platform is known until 2018 as Android Pay is gradually gaining more and more importance, ranking as one of the most used systems. Although its deployment in Spain is not as fast as could be expected, today it is already compatible with a good number of banks and entities:
- American Express Spain
- open bench
- Prepaid Financial Services
- Banco Mediolanum
- Bank March
To use Google Pay, it is only necessary to download the application and associate a payment method such as a credit or debit card or a PayPal account. This way, it will be possible to make payments both with the smartphone and with a Wear OS smartwatch associated with the primary device.
In addition, since the payment data will be associated with the Google account, it will also be possible to make payments in applications and platforms where there is support for Google Play.
Samsung Pay was one of the first payment platforms to be implemented in our country, and that has served to take advantage of other competing services. Currently, it is possible to associate the cards of up to 10 different banks:
- The English Court
- Imagin Bank
- open bench
In the case of Samsung Pay, as you probably imagine, it is only possible to make payments using this app if you have a compatible Samsung mobile or smartwatch. Although in the past, rumors appeared that pointed to the arrival of an app called Samsung Pay Mini, which would allow the Samsung platform on any Android, the idea was exclusively for a limited number of Asian countries.
As with Google Pay, the process to add payment methods is simple: enter the card details in the app, either manually or with a photo through the camera, and it will be possible to start making payments.
Payment services of each bank
If your bank does not offer support for either of the two platforms mentioned above, this is likely due to its intention to promote its payment platform. In Spain, some of the central banks offer users the possibility of making mobile payments using their application :
- CaixaBank Pay
- BBVA Wallet
- Santander Pay
- ABANCA Pay
- Liberbank Pay
- Sabadell Wallet
- Ibercaja Pay
- open bench
As you can see, paying with your mobile is easy, simple, and, above all, safe. If you have a mobile with NFC, and your bank also has support for any applications and payment systems discussed, you have no excuse to start enjoying this function from today.
Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.