Online payment is always easy and reliable for smartphone users but how about contactless payment? Today’s technology is getting more modern to provide secure and easy methods for customers who want to avail online or physical products or services. The most recent contactless payment method introduced to smartphone users is the NFC or Near Field Communication.
NFC works like a credit card where you can use your smartphone when paying at physical stores. NFC’s edge among other payment methods is that you don’t have to pass a card or confirm your PIN on external devices. You just have to bring your smartphone near the terminal and you can process everything on your smartphone.
A smartphone needs an application to be able to use NFC for contactless payment. Here are the best NFC payment apps for Android phones:
1. Google Pay
Google Pay is a mobile payment app for Android phones that allows users to add almost any credit cards. It also lets users add royalty cards so that they earn points for every transaction made.
Its user interface is easy to understand and offers more functions than other mobile payment apps like peer-to-peer transactions and splitting bill payments with friends.
At the Home page of this app, you’ll find information like a summary of your transactions and lists of stores that accepts Google Pay. This app runs on android 5.0 and up.
- Mastercard Paypass
- Virtual card
- Gift card and loyalty card management
- Online payment capability
- In-app payment capability
- Peer-to-peer transactions
- Bill splitting
- Separate apps for other functions
- Limited partners
- Doesn’t support earlier Android versions
2. Samsung Pay
Samsung Pay works similarly to the previous app but this one works on high-end Samsung Galaxy devices only. It can store up to 8 debit or credit cards with Visa, Mastercard, or American Express and gift cards.
The best thing about this app is not only that it has NFC technology but also has MST and can be used for payment through old magnetic card readers. Therefore, you can use it like a swipe card anywhere that accepts cards for payment.
- NFC + MST technology
- Samsung Rewards account
- Iris scanner for some devices
- Supports Samsung wearable devices
- Rewards are based per transaction, not the amount
- No list of suggested stores
- Doesn’t support fund transfers to other accounts or remittance
- Works with Samsung Galaxy devices only
The most popular online wallet, Paypal, can now be used to buy goods from physical stores with NFC payment. Paypal is widely used worldwide as a mobile wallet for online purchases and transactions. It can accommodate funds in different currencies and connect with banks from different countries.
Most of those who spend money online usually have a Paypal account, therefore, this mobile wallet is a good option for NFC payment to many. Paypal is also now owned by eBay. So, for eBay sellers and loyal customers, you can now easily link your Paypal and eBay accounts.
- Free fund transfer (non-business transactions)
- Discounts and rebates
- Good customer service
- Chargeback function
- Charges the receiver (business transactions)
- Paypal suspends accounts without warning
- Additional fees from banks
- Can’t transfer funds to other online payment systems
This app works like a combination of Paypal and Google Pay but with fun. You can shop at online stores, send funds to family or friends, and share or split payments.
What’s unique about this app is that it also works like a social media app where you can connect and share stories with your friends. You can also add notes to your payments and transactions using emojis or simple texts.
Venmo has pretty good reviews on Google Play and is actually acquired by Paypal in 2014. It recently added NFC
- Split payments
- Peer-to-peer transactions
- Quick transfers to banks
- Additional fees for credit card transactions
- Social feature can’t be turned off
How does NFC work?
NFC uses radio waves to detect nearby devices and exchange encrypted data and information.
How will I know if a store accepts NFC mobile payments?
NFC-enabled terminals usually have a WIFI-like logo or ads of NFC payment apps like ‘Samsung Pay accepted here‘. If none, it is best to ask the store staffs directly if they accept NFC mobile payments.
How do I check if a smartphone is NFC-enabled?
Go to Settings>Wireless and Networks>More. If you see an option for NFC, then it is NFC-enabled. Here’s a list of smartphones that have NFC.
There are many reasons why you would need NFC on your phone. A busy person would always love the idea of having everything in a single device. If you can pay for your online and physical purchases through your smartphone, then why not try contactless payment?
NFC is a safe payment method as it requires multiple authentications to save your information and for you to be able to make a transaction. Therefore, you won’t worry too much in case you would lose your phone.