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Your guide to mobile payments


Why mobile payments are a safe and simple option.

Accidentally forgetting your wallet when you’re running out the door or ducking into the shops is easy to do. But if you’re set up with mobile payments, all you have to do is swipe your phone over the merchant terminal and your payment is sorted – even if you’ve left your wallet behind.

Digital banking figures have exploded in recent years as more people start to make purchases via their smartphone device. Almost a quarter of Aussies now use their phone to make a purchase in stores, and that number is growing.

What are mobile payments?

Mobile payments essentially involve taking a photo of your eligible card and saving it into a digital wallet on your smartphone.

Then, to make a purchase, you simply open your phone and hold it over the merchant terminal to complete the payment. Too easy!

You can also sync your digital wallet so it works on your computer and other devices to make payments in-store and online without having to enter your card details.

But how do mobile payments actually work?

Mobile payments work via functionality known as tokenisation. Let’s break that down.

You’ve taken a photo of your card and load it into your smartphone’s digital wallet. The digital wallet sends the details to the card’s issuing bank or network, and replaces your card details with a unique 16-digit number.

This is known as the ‘token’. That 16-digit number (or token) is then programmed into your phone and used when you make a purchase instead of your card details, for added protection against fraud. It doesn’t affect your physical account or card number in any way.

Are mobile payments secure?

Tokenisation hides your confidential, sensitive account information – like your credit card or debit card details – during digital transactions. It does this by replacing these details with the unique, 16-digit token. And making contactless payments in a physical or online store, using this ‘token’ instead of your actual card details, offers enhanced security.

Tokenisation is an attempt to ward off credit card fraud, because it means scammers can’t get your actual credit card details. If a customer’s account details are compromised, they can be used to conduct fraudulent transactions elsewhere. But if you used a mobile payment, your details are hidden and protected.

There’s another layer of protection, too. Many smartphones offer biometric security via your fingerprint or facial recognition. If your phone has this functionality, you can enable it to ensure that you are the only one authorising digital payments via your device.

9 reasons to use mobile payments

Mobile payments are intuitive to use and very easy to set up

  1. You can upload multiple cards into the digital wallet on your phone
  2. You can cancel digital payments remotely if you need to
  3. You only need to take one device with you when shopping
  4. You can easily view your last ten transactions in the digital wallet on your phone
  5. It’s convenient – pay wherever contactless checkout is available or even online
  6. You can pay without an internet connection
  7. Most digital wallets don’t charge additional fees to use the service
  8. Mobile payments are highly secure against potential fraudsters.
  9. Saving your credit and debit cards onto your phone via the digital wallet is an easy, convenient and secure way to make contactless purchases – whether it’s online or in-store.

And it’s also a far more secure way of paying for things than using your cards, because it protects your details and hides them from potential scammers and fraudsters.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication. This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, before acting on this information, you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these matters and the product terms and conditions.

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