Here’s what you need to know about using smartphone mobile payment systems

Apr 22, 2023, 5:45 AM

(Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

(Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

Q: How can I tell if my Android smartphone can be used for mobile payments and is it safe?

A: There are good reasons to consider using the mobile payment systems that most of today’s smartphones support, ranging from convenience to security.

The key feature that your smartphone must have is something called Near-Field Communication (NFC), which is a very short-range wireless communication standard.

Unlike other wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the range of NFC is typically 4 centimeters or less, which is a great security enhancement and why you need to get your smartphone very close to a purchasing terminal.

If you’re not sure if your smartphone supports NFC, the easiest way to check is to go to your Settings menu and type NFC in the “Search” bar.

If nothing shows up, you don’t have NFC. If the settings do show up, you’ll want to make sure it’s enabled before downloading and setting up a digital wallet app.

Payment Platforms

Google and Samsung both offer Android wallet apps for making mobile payments, but Samsung’s payment system only works on their compatible phones.

Even if you currently have a Samsung device, it may be advantageous to opt for Google’s wallet app since it will work with any type of Android device down the road.

To set up the app, you’ll need to add a credit or debit card that will ultimately be charged when you use the app.

Advantages Over Credit Cards

Mobile payment apps have numerous benefits over handing a credit card to a retailer for your purchases.

The first is that it will “tokenize” each purchase and shield your credit card number from ever being exposed during the transaction. This token is only good for that one purchase, so even if it’s stolen, it’s not of much value to a thief.

This “touch to pay” procedure prevents nefarious individuals from being able to use card skimmers or other scams with your physical credit card.

It also eliminates having to pull out your wallet or open your purse to make a purchase adding to the convenience.

Biometric Authentication

Another important benefit is that the biometric security built into your smartphone will prevent others from being able to use it, even if they get your smartphone unlocked.

Just make sure you enable the setting that requires biometric authentication for each purchase.

Remote Controls

If you’re concerned about what would happen if your smartphone got lost or stolen, this is where the advantages over a lost physical wallet become very clear.

Think about the time and effort required to cancel every card that you carry in your wallet or purse; with a mobile payment system, you simply log in from any Internet terminal in the world and disable the wallet instantly.

Unlike a lost wallet, your smartphone can also be tracked, locked or erased remotely should it go missing.


It’s kind of obvious, but if your phone’s battery dies or isn’t functioning properly, you’ll be unable to make a purchase. Another challenge is not all merchants accept mobile payments yet, although this is likely to improve over time.

There will come a time when having a physical wallet won’t ever be necessary, but we’re not there just yet.

Data Doctors

(Pexels Photo)...

Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are the best tips for mobile file sharing

Airdrop is Apple’s proprietary method to exchange files between Apple devices and can’t be used to send files directly to Android devices, but there are other options.

7 days ago

(Unsplash Photo)...

Data Doctors

Random caller? Here are tips for looking up unfamiliar phone numbers

If you've ever wondered who's calling you, then here are some tips for looking up unfamiliar phone numbers.

14 days ago


Data Doctors

5 tips to speed up Google’s Chrome browser if it has begun to lag

The plethora of extensions available for Google Chrome can be one of many reasons why a users' browsing experience can be noticeably slower.

21 days ago

( Photo)...

Data Doctors

When a computer freezes up, solutions can vary from bypassing cache to OS updates

When a computer freezes, the reality is it’s a sign that you have a significant issue that needs to be addressed.

28 days ago

Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating system logos are displayed on laptop screens for illustration p...

Data Doctors

Tips for knowing how and when to upgrade to Windows 11

Windows 10 isn’t being discontinued; it’s coming up to its ‘End Of Life’ in Microsoft’s support lifecycle.

1 month ago

Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating system logos are displayed on laptop screens for illustration p...

Data Doctors

How to migrate your data to a new Windows laptop

I equate getting a new laptop much like moving to a new house; it will require a fair amount of time and effort.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

How to identify the symptoms of 3 common anxiety disorders

Living with an anxiety disorder can be debilitating and cause significant stress for those who suffer from the condition.

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...

Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.

Here’s what you need to know about using smartphone mobile payment systems