These days, it’s easier than ever to use your smartphone to make mobile payments or even buy something in a store. Both iPhones and Android devices offer smartphone payment apps that are user-friendly and come with robust security features. Apple Pay and Google Pay (the enhanced version of Google Wallet) are now honored by most merchant card readers, credit cards and banks. You’ll simply store safely encrypted credit or debit card information, as well as gift cards or loyalty cards, and pull out your phone when you’re ready to pay.
For iPhone Users–
To set up Apple Pay on your iPhone, go to Settings, tap Wallet & Apple Pay, then tap Add Credit or Debit Card. If your iTunes & App Store account already has a compatible card on file, iOS will automatically recommend adding it to Apple Pay. If not, you’ll need to either take a snapshot of your card or enter it manually. For security purposes, your bank may require you to verify by phone, text message, or e-mail. Most large banks will send you verification code by text message, while others may require you to call the bank to verify your identity. Once verification is complete, you’re all set up.
When you’re ready to spend, just select the Apple Pay option, and authorize your purchase by placing your finger on the Touch ID button. Your credit card details remain secure, and you’re saved the hassle of punching in a bunch of sensitive information while you’re on your phone or tablet. You’ll be able to tap your iPhone at any store, restaurant, or gas station that accepts smartphone payments, use it in apps, on the web, or even send or receive money from friends or family.
For Android Smartphones–
Android users will enjoy much of the same functionality with Google Pay. After you’ve downloaded the app, just follow the setup instructions to add a payment method and you’ll be ready to go. The app will automatically recognize any credit cards associated with your existing Google Play account and request to add them to Google Pay. To add a new card, simply tap the “plus” symbol, then scan your card with your camera or enter the information manually.
To pay in stores using the app, unlock your phone and hold it up to the scanner. Once it registers, follow the instructions on your screen and enter a PIN or sign your name to confirm. When you’re shopping online or in an app, just look for a button at checkout that says “Buy with GPay” (older logos for Google Wallet or Android Pay will also work). Tap that button and the rest will take care of itself as long as you’ve already set up a payment method.
Thanks to your smartphone, the number of things you can now leave home without just keeps on growing: maps, change for the pay phone, your camera, your address book, you name it. Now, you can even add cash and credit cards to the list!