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Photo of lady making contactless payment using mobile phone

Top 3 Contactless Phone Payment Options For 2021

by Finance Corner

The number of contactless phone payments has been on the increase since the facility became available in 2007. Given the ubiquitous use of mobile phones, the rise in this type of payment is hardly surprising.

If you have yet to make the leap to contactless phone payments, maybe our summary of the top three contactless payment providers in 2021 will help you make the switch.

Google Pay

Google Pay is an amalgamation of two previous payment systems: Google Wallet and Android Pay. With Google Pay, you have a system for both in-store and app payments.

If you have an Android device that is more recent than 2015, then it will be pre-loaded with Host Card Emulation (HCE) and Near Field Communication (NFC). These two technologies are the things that enable contactless payments through mobile phones.

It is simple to use Google Pay, and it also offers users a high level of security. You will be allocated a virtual account number for every card you load onto Google Pay. This virtual number means that vendors never get your full details.

An additional security level provided by Google Pay requires the screen lock on your phone to be activated. If your phone is lost or falls into the wrong hands, payments cannot be made as the authentication facility is disabled.

Google Pay has widespread acceptance in the UK and can be used at any contactless payment terminal. One reason for this is its compatibility with various Android devices.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay is pre-installed onto all iPhone 6 or later models, so there is no requirement to download any additional applications.  Apple’s contactless payment system is convenient and secure. When you add a card to your iPhone’s wallet, the card details are encrypted and only stored on your device. Your payment details also get replaced with a device account number, so vendors never get shown your details when you make a payment.

photo of contactless payment being made using mobile phone

Secure identity verification is another safeguard that Apple Pay provides. With this security measure, you are required to use either Touch or Face identification as a means of verification. This additional security means that only you can make payments through your iPhone, providing peace-of-mind if your phone is lost or stolen. Apple Pay has widespread acceptance and can be used at any contactless payment terminal. However, as it is only available on Apple devices, it is of no use to users of other phones.

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay is the South Korean technology giant’s answer to the Apple and Google Pay contactless payment systems. Samsung Pay is exclusive to Samsung devices, and it comes pre-installed on Galaxy S6 or newer models. 

Samsung Pay is based on the use of tokens and biometric technology to provide payment security. Your payment details are never shared with the vendor as they replace it with a unique device account number. Whenever you make a contactless payment, the system uses a token rather than your payment card details.

An additional security level is provided by Samsung Pay, requiring an iris or fingerprint scan to verify a payment. This extra measure means payments are virtually impossible if your phone gets lost or stolen.

Like the Apple and Google contactless payment options, Samsung Pay has widespread acceptance and can be used at any contactless payment terminal.

Where it differs slightly from its two rivals is that Samsung Pay can also be used with old magnetic stripe terminals. They can do this by using a technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MTC). The majority of these older payment terminals have been replaced with newer contactless ones here in the UK, so having this facility is less critical.

So, here is your brief introduction into contactless phone payment options for 2021, and the top three providers. Good luck making the change, and happy spending!

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