A few years ago, the idea of paying with a smartphone may have sounded a little futuristic. But nowadays, we know that a world without cash money and credit cards is real. Buying clothes, a pair of shoes or a gift through an app is already possible and, above all, it’s safe. This article includes information about the different types of payment and technologies, popular methods for mobile payment and a brief list of apps to realise mobile payments.
Types of payment and technologies
When talking about applications to realise mobile payments, there are two different types:
- One to make the payment itself;
- And one that provides you the technology to make a payment with your phone.
When looking at the type of payment, the apps can be divided into:
- Apps to pay in stores;
- For transferring money from one smartphone to another;
- And apps to pay via phone credit.
Apps to pay in stores and apps to pay via phone credit will be the protagonists of many Christmas purchases. Furthermore, it’s important to keep in mind that the applications that are included in this article are only available for Android and iOS.
Popular methods for mobile payments
The most commonly used technologies to pay with a smartphone are Near Field Communication (NFC) and QR codes. Both are explained as follows:
Near Field Communication (NFC)
NFC is a communication system, based on short-range communication.
It’s an open platform for mobile phones and devices that have expanded the possibilities of contactless technology. It is interesting to note that contactless means “no contact”.
With NFC it is possible to exchange data at a short distance (4 cm) in wireless mode, and in a few seconds, the transition ends. This system is similar to Bluetooth and allows the user’s mobile phone and credit card reader to communicate with each other. In order for this to work, both devices must be equipped with an NFC chip. Nevertheless, by simply downloading a special app it is possible to make mobile payments.
The QR system is short for “Quick Response” and is mainly used by banks. The code can be read in several directions, as opposed to the traditional barcode reading, which is only horizontal. To make mobile payments with this technology, you only need to insert the QR code printed on the ticket and the app will register the transaction in the account connected to the app. The advantage of this method of payment is that you only need a smartphone with a camera and not one with an NFC chip.
Apps to pay with your phone
Here is a list of the most popular apps to realise mobile payments, for Android and iOS.
Apple Pay is the result of the combination of Touch ID, Apple Wallet, and NFC technologies. Since Cupertino, they have achieved success where Google failed with their Wallet. This Google technology, launched in 2011, was too revolutionary for that time. In those days, there was only one smartphone with NFC technology and few stores adapted to this system.
Apple Pay, included in the iPhone 6 (and the ones released after this one) and iOS 8, is Apple’s contactless payment system. It allows its users to pay for their purchases directly from an iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad. In order to do this, the device only needs to be brought closer to the credit card reader and the NFC technology will take care of the rest.
In addition, Apple Pay uses a specific device number and unique transaction code to verify service security. This way, the card data is not stored in the devices or on Apple servers.
Paypal Mobile is an application that allows you to make and receive online payments with your phone. The app is available for Android and iOS and is easy to use. All you have to do is enter the mobile number or email address of the person to whom you want to send the payment. The transaction is free if you use the Paypal balance, but a 3.4% commission is paid plus a flat fee of €0.35 if you use the credit card related to the account. In addition, when you send or receive money with your mobile phone via PayPal, you receive a push notification and are able to manage your balance, bank account or card.
Vodafone Wallet is the mobile payment service developed by Vodafone and works on Android devices that include an NFC chip. The greatest advantage of Vodafone Wallet is that you can even use it when your phone is out of battery. To make a payment with your phone, simply bring your phone to the payment device of the store and the purchase will be done. This method of payment is safer than conventional payment since it is not necessary to show the card to the merchant. In addition, when a payment is made, you receive a push notification to confirm the transition.
Jiffy is an application, available for iOS and Android, which enables you to transfer money and make payments with your mobile phone. To activate it, you must have an account in one of the optional banks included in the app and register. Once the app has been downloaded and activated, it’s possible to connect your phone number with your IBAN account number. If you want to transfer money to another account, the other person doesn’t have to download the app to receive it. Thanks to this advantage, Jiffy has the potential to reach 34 countries and more than 400 million current account holders.
Nowadays, splitting a bill after having dinner with your friends, making online purchases or buying Christmas gifts is easier than ever with the use of mobile payment applications. It’s quick, easy and secure. And the most important: it will save you time this Christmas, so you have more time to celebrate it with your friends and family.