The iPhone 6 was the first phone from Apple to truly embrace mobile payments. It will also be the first iPhone in history to use NFC, a feature now widely used on Android and Windows Phone handsets. And the reason for ALL of this is mobile payments – Apple’s next BIG cash cow. Apple has some 800+ million credit cards on record already and is said to have secured the backing on every major credit card provider ahead of the iPhone 6’s release in September. With the use of TouchID, NFC and a simple set-up process, Apple is looking to redefine mobile payments in one fell swoop.
Of course, thanks to Google Wallet those on Android have long been able to use mobile payments as long as their phones have NFC capabilities. If you haven’t set up Google Wallet on your smartphone yet it’s pretty simple and can lead to much faster checkout times than with traditional credit or chip-and-pin cards.
Setting Up Your Wallet Account and App
- First, make sure your Android phone has NFC. If it does, you’re all set.
- Download the Google Wallet app for the Play store. You can find it here.
- Launch the app by tapping the colorful W icon.
- Before you can use Wallet you’ll first need to set up an account. Tap “Get Started” then agree to the TOS.
- On the next screen link your existing Google account to Google Wallet. Alternately you can set up a brand new Google account if you don’t have one.
- After your Google account is linked to Wallet you’ll be asked to enter a four-digit Google Wallet PIN and enter it again to confirm it. Make sure you remember this.
- After your Google Wallet account is all set up you’ll want to add some cards to Wallet. The most commonly used cards are your current account debit card and also the Google Wallet Card, which you can add funds to whenever you want. But in Wallet, you can also add membership club cards and some select credit cards.
- Under the “Tap and Pay” settings you’ll need to, again, accept the terms of service agreement and then you can choose a default card to pay with if you have entered multiple cards.
Purchasing Goods With Wallet
Once your Wallet account is all set up, using your NFC-enabled smartphone to buy stuff couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is find a vendor who uses an NFC terminal (this will usually have a PayPass logo on it). After the cashier rings you up simply confirm the price on the terminal then tap your smartphone to it. You’ll hear a tone confirming that the connection has been successful and then a digital receipt will show on your screen and a paper receipt will also be printed out as normal.
A nice thing about Google Wallet is the app allows you to view itemized receipts for past transactions at any time, so it doesn’t really matter if you lose the paper receipt. As you can see, mobile payments make things a lot quicker and easier than paying with traditional cards.
However, mobile payments do have some drawbacks. The first is that if you are solely relying on your phone to be your wallet – and your phone runs out of battery power – you are essentially cut off from your money. Another drawback is that not many shops take mobile payments. Yes, the number of shops taking them is goring weekly, but the total shops accepting mobile payments still pale in comparison to those that take more traditional forms of payment.