The easy way to make contactless payments by mobile phone

Asia's Tech News Daily

Nearly one in six Brits (16% of us) have registered to make contactless payments using their smartphones or smartwatches, instead of using a debit or credit card.

© Tim Robberts – Getty Images It’s easy to use your phone to make contactless payments. Just follow our quick guide to paying by mobile phone.

Mobile payment services allow you to link your credit or debit card to your smartphone so you can pay for goods and services by tapping your phone on the contactless card reader; you don’t need your card with you.

If you’re deciding whether to start making contactless payments with your smartphone, here’s what you need to know before you make the switch…

Which mobile payment service should I sign up to?

Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are the major mobile payment services in the UK and are supported by most big banks, including First Direct, HSBC, NatWest, Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Lloyds.

Fitbit and Garmin have their own mobile payment services on some activity trackers and smartwatches, but currently only Santander and Starling Bank support them.

© GS Visuals – Getty Images contactless payments phone

Do all phones support mobile payments?

Not sure whether your phone will support contactless payments? Here’s what you need to know…

  • The oldest model you can use Apple Pay on is the iPhone 6 (the Apple watch is also compatible).
  • Google Pay works on any Android 5.0 smartphone (or newer) with Near-Field Communication (NFC), and several Wear OS smartwatches including Huawei Watch 2, Fossil and TicWatch models.
  • Samsung Pay works on the Samsung Galaxy s6 and more recent models, the Galaxy A series of smartphones and Samsung Galaxy watches.

GHI Tip: Check your Android smartphone is compatible in the Settings menu. Check whether it has NFC under ‘Wireless and Networks’, and which version of the Android operating system software it runs under ‘About Phone’.

Where can I use it?

Anywhere on the high street that takes contactless cards and also has an Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay logo is compatible, including Marks and Spencer, Lidl, Pizza Express and Boots.

The contactless limit is now £100 as of October 2021.

© Cecilie_Arcurs – Getty Images contactless payments phone

Is it safe?

Your card details are not stored on your phone or watch and you can delete your debit or credit card details from your device, even if you lose it.

For more information, see iCloud for Apple Pay; Find my Device for Android devices and, for Samsung gadgets, Find my Samsung.

How do I get started?

On an iPhone, open the Wallet app. If you have an Android smartphone, download the Google Pay app from the Google Play Store. For Samsung handsets, download Samsung pay from the Samsung Galaxy Store.

All three of these apps will then ask you to add your card details by taking a photo of the card itself and your bank will send a verification code as a text message or via phone call.

When you make a payment, unlock your device by placing your finger on the fingerprint sensor or activate facial recognition (iPhones only), then hold the device over the contactless reader.

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