The year 2020 brought an era of new-normal with the COVID 19 pandemic. These difficult times compelled people to stay indoors and work remotely within the secure environment of their homes. The necessity of remaining at home or managing work and other daily commitments remotely caused an upsurge of the popularity of contactless payments via mobile apps.
At present there are numerous mobile apps from different companies and even internet giants like Google to assist in contactless payments in a secure environment. Other than contactless payments these apps are offering various features like multi-level security, direct money transfer to bank accounts, even discounts and cash back offers.
An ideal mobile payment app is one, which allows the user to have a secure, hassle free experience of payment with one touch on his smartphone.
The introduction of Near Field Communication (NFC) had revolutionized the smartphones into a payment card. This pandemic time popularised it.
Like any other contactless payment option, mobile payments apps also have their fair share of pros and cons. However, they are definitely worth the usage despite some of the ambiguities that they carry.
With the evolution of these mobile payment apps, they are offering digital wallets for small payments in everyday life. Digital wallets offered by these apps are a definite game changer, as they allow the user to make small payments for everyday essentials via the wallet avoiding the hassle of carrying cash.
These apps also have proved to be a great aid for remotely direct transfer of money to friends, family and even work associates.
Here are some of the best contactless payment platforms and NFC which are currently ruling the market. As contactless payment platforms continue to be rolled out, we'll help you choose the right mobile apps and NFC system that can work for you.
The tech giant put a firm step in the market by introducing Google pay or G-pay as it is popularly known. It is a pre-installed android mobile payment app which from its very beginning is widely accepted through many retails. Bloomingdale's, Chick-Fil-A, KFC, Nike and Staples, and also online services such as Airbnb and DoorDash amongst many others to trust this app as a secure and reliable payment gateway. The multi-layer security encryption protection does not allow or reveal any data regarding card number or bank details of the user. This makes the app more secure than using an usual credit card.
Chase, Citi, Discover, American Express and other leading credit card providers have collaborated with G-pay. Also, all Visa cards are supported via Visa Checkout and the user's Pay Pal account can also be directly connected. Only debit cards issued by small credit unions having less than three branches are not allowed to connect via this app.
The only ambiguity the app seems to have is that the user needs to have Google Pay Send, a different app for direct person to person money transfer.
One of the biggest smartphone manufacturers have also contributed their share in the contactless payment mobile app through Samsung Pay in their flagship series of Galaxy series. Though the users of other phones by the manufactures are unable to use this app. Credit and Debit cards from major banks are now connected to Samsung Pay as their payment gateway.
Samsung Pay works with conventional credit card readers, using the newer EMV or NFC tech, or even the older ones using magnetic strip technology – by holding the phone next to it, the credit card information contained in the magnetic strip gets transmitted via a technology called magnetic secure transmission (MST).
Samsung Pay seems to have a universal acceptance amongst the major credit card providers and its flexibility in interacting with the credit card reader is the ideal substitute to the load of carrying cash and cards with the app wallet.
As the tech giant is known for making life easier for its user, they carry forward this ideology even in their payment app, Apple pay. This app is pre-installed in the I-phones so there is no additional need of downloading. Also, it assists in online purchases through MacBooks.
The user needs to provide credit card information to their apple account before using it for any contactless payment at any retail. This IOS payment app is arguably more secure as it verifies the user identity via Touch ID sensor or Face ID. Another fascinating feature is that it allows cash transfer via I-message or Siri, the digital assistant. The cash is received in the user's Apple Cash balance and then transferred to his or her bank account.
Half of US retail locations including Starbucks, Walgreens, McDonald's, Best Buy and more accept this app as a secure payment option.
This app is easily available in the app store of any smartphone. Any user can sign up on this app through their Facebook account as well. After that it is a easy way to send or receive money from other Venmo users after the user's bank account or credit card is linked with app. This app can access the phone and Facebook contacts and allows the user to send or receive money to them. It also identifies and induces the non-users of the app to come to the other side.
Though it has been considered to be a more advantageous online payment option but it has yet to catch its pace of popularity amongst the prominent retailers.
Pay Pal is amongst the oldest apps to provide online transactions much before these contactless mobile payment apps were in function. With the introduction of Pay Pal app they have steadily entered into the big game of these mobile payment gateways.
Pay Pal is now offering direct person-to-person payments, and retail payments. Though due to the lack of support for NFC with PayPal's app it is more likely to pay online with the service while checking out the retail counter. At present only a few retailers are placing their bets with this app, something the company needs to llok out for.
This app does not charge a fee for buying a product online or in-person or a person-to-person transfer (without seller protection). But a huge drawback that this app has is various fees for different purposes which are sometimes difficult to understand and not even user friendly.
Money transfer from a linked bank account via this app is free of charge. But ceratin fees are applicable for an instant Transfer from a linked debit card which decreases its appeal among the users.