How to make contactless payments with your smartphone

Smartphones have become a tool that can also be used for contactless payments: here's what you need to use them

To enable your smartphone to make contactless payments, you mainly need two things: support for NFC technology and an app to which you can connect your payment card. If the phone is among those enabled, the user will be able to take advantage of the benefits of contactless payments at any time and anywhere.

In the case of contactless payments, both the smartphone and the POS must support NFC, so as to be able to initiate communication and transmission of the data necessary to carry out the economic transaction. Nowadays more and more smartphones support NFC and controlling it is simple: just go to the settings of your phone. In order to enable your smartphone to make payments, you will need to choose an app from Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Satispay and the others available to connect your card and start contactless payments.

Smartphones and contactless payments: how they work

NFC technology, which stands for Near Field Communication, allows proximity communication between two devices, allowing them to transmit data and information wirelessly and bidirectionally by simply bringing them together. In order to make a contactless payment, therefore, both the smartphone and the POS will need to be NFC-enabled.

But it's not enough to activate NFC on the phone to start using it instead of cash and payment cards, you'll also need to download and configure a payment app, such as Google Pay or Satispay. Using the app, users will be able to associate their payment card, be it credit, ATM or prepaid, to their account and start paying simply using their smartphone. Once everything is set up, simply put the phone in front of the POS to make the transaction, which will be authorized through the unlock code, facial recognition or fingerprint.

How to see if your smartphone supports NFC

NFC technology is now supported by an increasing number of smartphones of any brand: from top of the range Samsung, Apple and Xiaomi to cheaper phones even from brands like Oppo, One Plus and Nokia. NFC technology is usually indicated in the phone's specifications and can be checked for its availability at the time of purchase.

In case you decide to use NFC, but are not sure if you have a model to enable it, it will be easy to check if your smartphone has it. By going to Settings and then to Other Wireless Connections or Device Connections, depending on the model and Android version of the smartphone, in addition to wi-fi and data connection if it is present there will also be the NFC option. Once located, you'll just need to activate it.

Contactless payments with smartphones: the best apps

There are many apps that allow you to turn your smartphone with NFC into a convenient contactless payment card. Apple Pay has been available on iPhones since 2014 and supports major credit cards and allows you to enable payments through Face ID or Touch ID. Other apps include Google Pay and Samsung Pay, which allow you to register your payment cards and use them after setup. Transaction authorization can be granted using an unlock code, facial recognition or fingerprint. Finally, there is Satispay, which allows you to associate your bank account with your smartphone, simply by registering on the app with your ID, IBAN and tax code.