“Any” and “as often as humanly possible”
Mobile payments are one of my latest mobile obsessions. I love buying stuff with my phone. It’s cool and it feels like using the future. But it’s one of those things that appeals to a pretty specific audience I’m finding out, so I asked my fellow editors here at Pocketnow what mobile payment systems they used and why they did or did not use them.
Mobile payments are so much fun to use, and they are more secure than even magnetic stripe transactions. Tokenization makes them safe, and tapping makes them fun. What more can you ask for? I’m currently using Samsung Pay for as long as I have the Galaxy S6 Edge, but seeing as how that’s limited to a small number of devices, I’ll probably use Android Pay more often than anything.
That being said, it’s hard to see me buying a phone that doesn’t have a mobile payment system. I left my bank because it didn’t support mobile payments. That’s how serious I am about using this stuff. So, my answer to these questions are “any” and “as often as humanly possible”.
“Windows 10 mobile has it, but there are too many road blocks”
Windows Phone has NFC mobile payments. The Lumia 735 I reviewed seemed to be set up for it.
To answer the question, I’ve never used it because I’ve never even seen a payment terminal that supported mobile payments via NFC or anything else. If I did, how would I know? How would I know which types of mobile payment services are accepted? If I have to actively look up what stores support what payment services via which apps, that’s already too much work. There’s nothing difficult about taking a credit card out of my pocket and sliding it down the edge of a reader. Taking my phone out of my pocket and tapping it against something really has barely any increase in usability or convenience. It’s actually a lot less convenient as soon as my phone’s battery is dead… which still happens, frequently. Therefore I still need to carry a real credit card anyway, so what’s the point?
“Simultaneously awesome and a pain in the keister!”
Mobile payments are simultaneously awesome and a pain in the keister! First of all, I’m a proponent of carrying cash. If you don’t have the cash to buy something, you probably can’t afford it. The other side of that argument is that, in the society in which we live, carrying cash is a risky venture – which is an argument for using a card. Carrying a card isn’t without risk either – those numbers can be easily stolen – and with them, your money – if only for a few weeks while the banks get things sorted out. The solution, if you can call it that, is to get rid of cards without getting rid of the convenience. The solution? Your phone, of course!
The root of the solution is to use a rotating number, one that expires with such a frequency that using a stolen copy wouldn’t work because it was already out-of-date.
The concept isn’t perfect – not yet anyway. Part of that reason is a huge install-base of “old fashioned” infrastructure – and a lack of a ubiquitous standard with which to replace it. But we’re getting close.
I’m a geek, so I seek out ways to use tech whenever I can. I advocate for “cool, new stuff”. Using my Nexus 6P to buy lunch, and showing the employee behind the register the confirmation on my Moto 360 is enough to make them jump on the Android Pay bandwagon – most didn’t know you could do such a thing, and seeing it in action makes them want to try it for themself.
There are painfully few places that I can use Android Pay (or Apple Pay, for that matter). Even my forward-thinking farm supply store abandoned their contactless readers due to problems they experienced with the whole setup (not just the wireless part).
Do I use Android Pay? Yes, whenever and wherever I can. Do I use it a lot? Alas, no – but not for a lack of trying.
“I use them to solve a very specific problem”
Wallets are stupid. Keys are stupid. Pockets are great at holding them, but those two don’t get along in there. If one comes out, the other wants to, too. Enter mobile payments. I dedicate a pocket for my smartphone. Pull it out. Open the app. Tap the terminal. Boom. Put it back.
None of this bending down to the floor to pick up 50,000 loyalty cards and that SIM ejector tool that keeps stabbing my thigh. What a great idea. I use my pockets properly.
“Changes need to be made on both sides”
I don’t often use mobile payments – but it’s not for lack of trying. When it works out, I love the feeling of whipping out my smartphone to pay for a seltzer at CVS, or for a cab ride across town, and I’d gladly do it more often. But thanks to the standards wars and the continual rebranding that’s plagued the mobile payments industry, most businesses I frequent still don’t accept mobile payments. If they do, often it’s Apple Pay only; I don’t usually carry an iPhone, and while I’ve been dying to try Samsung Pay on an old-school card reader, now those are being phased out in favor of the new EMV set-ups. Worst of all, even when all the chips do fall into place and I’m at a business that accepts Android Pay, I’m often carrying a phone that either isn’t compatible (OnePlus 2, X) or makes it more cumbersome due to its lack of a fingerprint scanner (Moto X Pure Edition). Until mobile payments see greater adoption, both on the terminal side and the device side, I’ll stick to the old-fashioned ways. Much as it pains me to do so.
Chief News Editor
“I want to use them my way.”
I DID, all the time. Now I do not at all.
Why? Simple: Android Pay. With Google Wallet, I was free to make mobile payments as I chose. With Android Pay, Google refuses to let me use its services unless I put a lockscreen on my phone, which I simply will not do.
I was fine with entering an app-specific PIN unlock for Google Wallet, but a system-wide lockscreen requirement is too onerous. I’d rather not make payments at all than fundamentally change how I use my phone. It’s some grade-A [horsehockey]. (Ed. Note: he did not say “Horsehockey”)
“I would love to if it was supported in my country”
Anton D. Nagy and Jaime Rivera are our honorable mentioned on this post. Both of them live outside the US, so mobile payments aren’t much of an option for them unfortunately. Anton did say that if they were supported in Romania, he would definitely be on board, and for Jaime’s part he suggested that Pre-Paid credit cards could be supported to alleviate this problem for him.
So, what about you? Do you use mobile payment systems? Or do you prefer to stick with the more traditional plastic-card method? What’s holding you back, if anything? Sound off below, and let us know where you stand in the mobile payment game.