Debit and credit cards are very convenient tools to pay: they are generally safer than carrying a lot of cash and they are easy to use. Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic and the risks associated with cash (risks that may reduced by frequently sanitizing hands but that are still to consider), debit and credit cards represent even more one of the safest payment tools you can use for everyday expenses.
The Risks Associated With Credit Cards
While credit cards are - as written before - generally safe to use, there are still some risks associated with their use. These include the eventuality that a skimmer is fraudulently applied on terminals in certain shops (it may happen, for example, in some places that don’t feature on-site personnel like automatic fuel stations, where scammers have more time to eventually tamper payment devices). In this case the risk is to get our credit card cloned. There is also a level of risk when we make online purchases, especially when we are buying something on suspicious websites that don’t enforce SSL encryption: this means that credit card information is sent through a not secure channel and then it can be spoofed easily. Making online transactions only on well recognized websites that enforce the use of SSL encryption and avoiding online shopping when using public Wi-Fi networks are two of the best practices in order to reduce risks of online frauds. Still, it is a good idea also to know how to use credit card in Google Pay or Apple Pay for online and in shops transactions, as these two services are surely the safest way in absolute to use our credit cards.
Why Google Pay & Apple Pay Are The Safest Way To Use Credit Cards
When we associate a credit card with Apple Pay or Google Pay we are storing our card data within an encrypted area of our smartphone. As storage is local and not replicated among other devices, there is not the risk of leakage of our payment data in case an online website gets attacked (for example, storing our credit card information within our profile in an online shop means getting exposed to this kind of risk). The second aspect is within how does the payment work when we use one of these two services: in fact we are not sharing our real credit card data when we make an online or offline transaction, but instead a temporary token is generated for the specific session. This essentially means that any leakage of data that could happen on an online or offline transaction would pose zero risks, as only a temporary token expiring after the session would be stolen without affecting the real data of the credit card. With this in mind, the only security vulnerability that may be a threat to our safety is just our phone PIN and the eventuality that it may get stolen. Putting a strong PIN and paying attention not to leave our phone in the back pocket, in an open bag or other places where a thief can easily steal our device is surely the best way to reduce unauthorized use of our credit cards registered within Apple Pay or Google Pay service.
How To Set Credit Card in Google Pay or Apple Pay
In order to use a credit card in Google Pay or Apple Pay you can perform two tasks:
- open your banking app and going through the Cards section: most apps of supported banks will directly show you a button you can tap in order to add the credit card to your phone wallet
- open Google Pay app or Apple Wallet app in order to manually add your credit card by typing the number, expiration date and holder name or taking a photo to the card so that the app retrieves automatically the data
After having added your card to your phone you will be able to pay in all the shops supporting contactless payments, while online payments are possible only within apps installed on the phone and that explicitly support Apple Pay or Google Pay (it is not currently possible to pay on online websites).
Keep in mind that, as your credit card data is stored only within the specific device, changing the phone means that you will need to re-add again the card to Google Pay or Apple Pay on the new device. In addition, it is highly recommended to delete payment information in case you are going to sell or give your old phone to someone, in addition to perform a complete factory reset.
With all this in mind you are ready to enjoy the ease of paying with your phone in seconds and through one of the safest payment methods currently available.
© 2021 Alessio Ganci