Mobile payment, which allows you to pay for transactions using an application on your mobile phone, is on the rise, led by Google Wallet. Mobile payments with Google Wallet is convenient, more secure, and can even get you savings from retailers that have special deals for mobile payment users. Here’s an overview of how this technology works, where it can be used, and why it’s more secure.
How does it work?
Google Wallet uses NFC (near field communication) technology, which requires you to have an Android device with an NFC chip. Not sure if your phone has an NFC chip? View a complete list of NFC-equipped phones here.
When you set up your Google Wallet account, it will prompt you to enter your credit card information. Google Wallet accepts all major credit cards and even allows you to enter information for multiple cards. This information is stored away safely for your future payments.
Retailers accept mobile payments when you enter your PIN on your phone and hold it close to an NFC reader near the register. You might be familiar with this technology if you use an ORCA card for public transit, which allows you to pay fares by tapping your card on an NFC reader. Mobile payment is even more convenient, because you most likely have your phone readily available in your pocket. No fumbling for cash or cards necessary.
Where can I use Google Wallet?
Not all retailers accept mobile payments. You can enter your zip code here to find retailers with NFC readers near you.
How secure is mobile payment?
You might be skeptical about entering your account information for mobile payments, but Google Wallet is actually more secure than conventional payment methods. Think of it this way: How many restaurants, grocery stores, online retailers, gas stations, and countless other merchants have you handed your card over to? With Google Wallet, this number can be limited to just one.
When you pay through mobile payments, the retailer does not access your account directly. Google Wallet assigns each user a virtual prepaid MasterCard account. Information from this virtual account is passed to the retailer, which then notifies Google Wallet, who charges your actual account.
What if my phone is lost or stolen?
Because you must enter your PIN for the mobile payment to go through, there’s no immediate threat if you lose your phone. You can quickly disable your Google Wallet account online or by calling Google Wallet’s customer service line. If your device is still turned on, Google Wallet can remotely reset the application, clearing it of payment and transaction data.
Learn more about Google Wallet here.
Mobile payment options for iPhone users
Google Wallet is only compatible with Android devices, but there are many iPhone-compatible mobile payment options that are gaining in popularity. Here are a few you can check out:
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