Is paying with your phone as safe using a credit card?

Please indulge my nostalgia for a moment.

One of my first jobs was a part-time, seasonal gig, standing at a kiosk in the middle of a mall, hawking the wares of a traveling salesman from New England. The wares were fleece hoods that could be worn in a variety of ways and were, purportedly, made of recycled soda bottles (I was always dubious of this claim). The sweet smell of the candied nuts being roasted further down the concourse, the Christmastime standards on the Muzak played just loud enough to be heard over the crowds, and the “SHUNK-SHUNK” of the credit card imprinter (anyone under 25 should Google that) sliding clunkily back and forth across the hand-written, triplicate receipt come together in my mind and make me all misty-eyed. Now, Bing Crosby has been replaced by Michael Buble and the credit card imprinter has been replaced by Mobile Pay. Who am I kidding? Buble could never replace Bing, but Ye Olde Imprinter has been replaced and that’s a good thing.

Mobile Pay is the newest, easiest, and fastest method of payment. At places that accept Mobile Pay, you no longer have to swipe or insert your card in a machine. Nor do you even have to get your card out of your purse or wallet. You definitely don’t have to hand your card over to someone you’ve never met before.

It’s easy to set up and use and, most importantly, it’s secure. Some would say more secure than carrying a credit card. Depending on your smartphone, you’ll use Samsung Pay, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. Just enter your card info into the virtual wallet in your device and you can start paying with your phone. I use Apple Pay on my iPhone and it couldn’t be much easier. My phone authenticates my fingerprint as I double-click the home button and then I touch the phone to the merchant’s credit card reader. There’s a beep or two to verify that the transaction went through and that’s it!

For those concerned about the security of essentially broadcasting your credit card information a short distance, there’s no need to worry. All forms of Mobile Pay use a randomized or encrypted set of numbers in lieu of your actual card number so not even the merchant receives any information that could be used for fraudulent purposes. Of course, there’s a small amount of risk involved with credit cards in general but Mobile Pay is actually more secure than using a physical card for the following reasons:

  • If you lose your credit card, a dishonest person could do a lot of damage in a short amount of time until you realize you’ve lost it and call the company to cancel or put a hold on it.

  • Smartphones will not allow you to set up Mobile Pay unless your phone is passcode or fingerprint protected.

  • Credit card skimming is a popular way for a crook to get your card info but will not work with Mobile Pay.

It may ease your mind to know that your credit card’s fraud protection policy remains in place if you’re using a mobile wallet. And as I mentioned in the post about email bombing, credit card companies are easy to work with in the event of fraud.

I would, however, warn that using public WiFi for anything, including adding cards to your wallet is a bad idea. Public WiFi is a hacker’s dream and there’s no way to be positive that it’s a secure connection, so be sure to add cards to your mobile wallet only in the safety of your home network.

For more information on Apple Pay, click here.

For Apple Pay’s security policy, click here.

For more information on Google Pay, click here.

For Google’s security webpage, click here.

For more information on Samsung Pay, click here.

For Samsung Pay’s security webpage, click here.

Of course, and as always, if you have any questions or concerns or would like us to help you set up Mobile Pay, don’t hesitate to contact OwnIT at (424) 256-8541 or at

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