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Apple Pay and Android Pay
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Smartphones & gadgets

Tech tip: How to use your phone to pay for everything

Get ready to ditch your old wallet in favor of a faster, safer option. Instead of swiping your card at checkout, all you have to do is hold up your phone. Both Apple and Android smartphones allow you to pay for everything from your next latte to your new favorite sweater using built-in apps. 

You can even use voice commands to send money to friends and family. Saying something like, “Hey Siri, send Mom $100,” actually works as long as you have Mom set up in your contacts. Tap or click here for five safe ways to pay online.

You can use Apple Wallet and Google Pay to buy things in stores, online or in apps. It’s easy to set up, too. We’ll walk you through the process.

How to set up Apple Pay on an iPhone

You’ll need to add a card to Apple Wallet if you haven’t already done so. Here’s how:

  • Open the Wallet app, and tap the Add button.
  • Tap Debit or Credit Card.
  • Tap Continue.
  • Follow the steps on the screen to add a new card. If prompted, choose your bank or card issuer from the list or find them using the search bar.
  • Verify your information with your bank or card issuer. They might ask you to provide additional information or to download an app before approving your card for use with Apple Pay.
  • If you have a paired Apple Watch, you can also add the card to your watch.

NOTE: The card you enter will become your default payment method for new charges.

Here’s how to make purchases using Apple Pay:

  • To use your default card:
    • If your iPhone has Face ID, double-click the side button. If prompted, authenticate with Face ID or enter your passcode to open Apple Wallet.
    • If your iPhone has Touch ID, double-click the Home button.
  • To use a different card, tap your default card to see your other cards. Tap a new card and authenticate.
  • Hold the top of your iPhone near the contactless reader until Done and a checkmark appears on the display.

RELATED: 10 iPhone tricks you’ll use every day

Pro-tip: If you’re on the go and want to use Apple Pay quickly, there’s a way to bypass your lock screen and go straight to your Wallet.

  • If you have a FaceID-enabled iPhone just double-click the side button.
  • If you have a Home button model, double-click Home instead.
  • Your wallet will pop up and you can pay quickly. Then, verify the purchase with your fingerprint or FaceID. 

How to set up Google Pay on an Android Phone

Google Pay offers similar mobile wallet options via the free Google Pay app. Here’s how to set up Google Pay:

  • Download the Google Pay app from the Google Play Store.
  • Open the Google Pay app.
  • At the top left, tap Menu Payment methods.
  • Next to the payment method you want to set up for contactless payments, select Enable contactless.
  • Follow the instructions to verify your payment method.

Google Pay offers some surprising conveniences and rewards when you use it to make purchases. This becomes doubly effective if you tie the app to a cash-back or rewards payment method. Check out 10 amazing things you can do with Google Pay

Steps to use Google Pay:

  • Wake up & unlock your phone – Turn on your phone screen, and then unlock your phone. You do not need to open the Google Pay app.
  • Hold the back of your phone close to the payment reader for a few seconds – When you’re done paying, a blue check mark will appear on the screen.
  • If the checkmark isn’t on your screen:
    • Try holding your phone differently. Your NFC antenna could be near the top or bottom of your device.
    • Hold your phone closer to the payment reader.
    • Hold your phone for a few extra seconds.
  • If there is a checkmark but the cashier says the payment didn’t work:
    • Double-check that the store accepts mobile payments.
    • Contact your bank to make sure your card is working right.
  • If prompted, follow the instructions on the screen – Some stores use older software that asks for a PIN or signature. If you’re asked, follow the steps on the screen.
    • Debit cards: Enter the PIN you set up with your bank. This PIN is different from the PIN you use to unlock your device.
    • Credit cards: For larger transactions, sign the receipt or the signature box on the screen.

Is it safe to pay with Apple Wallet and Google Pay?

Both Apple and Google take fraud prevention very seriously. They both have many cutting-edge security measures in place. These services work as a go-between to provide an extra layer of protection between your personal banking information and any would-be thieves. 

You don’t have to worry about card skimmers when everything is digital, and it’s hard to fool facial recognition and fingerprint technology. With these services, your actual card number isn’t even given to the merchant when you make a purchase. Instead of your bank card number, they receive a secure payment token tied to the verified card. 

These precautions make using your digital wallet even safer than using your real credit card. It’s also one of the most secure ways to help someone under 18 make online purchases. To enable this for your kids, set up a Family Sharing Group via Apple or Family Link in Google.

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