We have never used NFC for electronic payments from smartphones, you are in the right guide: here we will show you in detail how to pay with NFC on Android and iPhone, showing you how to recognize compatible smartphones, which services to use to virtualize our credit card and how to pay in a physical store using the new generation POS.
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How to pay contactless with NFC
Before seeing in detail how an NFC payment is made, we need to make sure that this contactless technology is present on our device; without NFC we will not be able to use any of the services indicated and we will not be able to pay at the POS with our phone.
What is NFC
NFC is the acronym for Near Field Communication and indicates the technology that allows, by means of wireless radio frequency waves (which act at short range), to put two nearby devices into communication. The range of NFC is about 4 cm, although the best results are obtained by bringing the devices within 2 cm.
In our specific case we can pay contactless using an NFC chip integrated in the phone and an NFC chip integrated in the new generation POS (almost all POS of large stores accept this type of payment).
How to check for NFC on your phone
To understand if there is NFC on our smartphone with Android operating system, all we have to do is open the app Settings, open the menu Other or Connections -> Other, then enable the item NFC; alternatively we can quickly enable NFC by opening the quick button menu (swiping twice from the top edge) and pressing the appropriate icon.
If we do not find the NFC entry anywhere, we search in the Settings app (in the appropriate bar at the top) or by opening the Google app; if not even so we find this entry, probably our smartphone does not have an NFC chip and we cannot pay contactless. We remind you that if we want to pay with this method NFC must always be turned on: since it consumes very little, it makes no sense to turn it off and on again, we might as well leave it always operational.
If we have an iPhone compatible with the Apple's contactless payment system (from iPhone SE, iPhone 6 and later), we will not have to activate any voice: by adding a credit card to Apple Pay (as we will see below) NFC will be switched on and off as needed, so that we can pay when necessary and save (little) energy when we are not using NFC instead. no way.
How to add credit card to Google Pay
If we have chosen to pay contactless using NFC on our Android phone, we advise you to use it for the purpose Google Pay, compatible with any Android smartphone manufacturer therefore a real point of reference.
Chosen the NFC smartphone to use for the payment (on which we strongly recommend activate the lock with your fingerprint, face and a lock code effective), download the Google Pay app from the Play Store and open it immediately after the download is complete.
Now that the app is open, press the menu button at the top right (the icon with the three lines), press on Payment and then on Add -> Credit or Debit Card. In the new screen we use the rear camera to acquire the card data or enter the data manually, enter the CVV2 verification code and confirm where necessary.
After adding your Google Pay card it will charge a small amount on it; this charge is used to verify that the card exists and is valid but after a short time it will no longer be displayed (the money will be returned to us).
At the time of writing, American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Visa Electron, ma circuit cards are supported we also need to get Google Pay support from the bank who issued the card (better check by contacting our bank's customer service).
To pay with Google Pay, all we have to do is have the Contactless POS enabled at the time of payment at the cash desk, unlock the phone with your fingerprint, password or face then bring the back to the POS (within 4 centimeters) : automatically NFC will send the request to Google Pay which will confirm the transaction; if the sum is less than € 25, the payment will not require the insertion of the card security PIN, while for sums equal to or greater we will have to enter the PIN when requested by the POS.
How to add credit card to Apple Pay
If we want to pay contactless with our iPhone by adding our credit card, all we have to do is open the app Wallet (integrated in iPhone) and press the + icon or button at the top right add.
In the new screen we press the button Go on, we enter the data of our credit card, the verification code CCV2 and finally confirm where necessary to immediately add the card to our digital wallet.
Also in this case the accepted circuits are American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron, but we must check with our bank if the Apple Pay service is enabled.
Once the card has been added to Apple Pay, we can use it for contactless payments at the first useful opportunity: as soon as we are in front of a compatible POS, we press twice on the side button (on iPhones with Face ID) or press the finger on the fingerprint sensor (on the smartphone with Touch ID), approach the top of the phone to the POS and wait for the check mark to appear, so as to confirm the payment.
Once you get the hang of it you will no longer pay with cash or by taking out your credit card: just place our phone at the POS and pay with the NFC systems integrated on Android and iPhone, in the maximum possible safety.
If we are afraid that someone may steal money from accounts while we keep the phone in our pocket, we can rest assured: they only work with the screen locked, in a different way than seen with contactless credit cards in the guide How to protect payments and Contactless cards from technological thieves.
If we are looking for other methods to make the most of NFC, we invite you to read our articles 10 Apps and ways to use NFC tags with an Android smartphone is How to share WiFi passwords on Android and iPhone.