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How to pay in stores just by moving your cell phone (and how safe is it)?

ApplePay arrived on March 15 in Peru. The technology firm’s payment method is already suitable for use in our territory and it didn’t take long for it to become a sensation. The possibility of buying in establishments such as restaurants, taps, supermarkets, retail stores, pharmacies and even in transport such as taxis just by making a movement with the cell phone in hand is already within the reach of Peruvian iPhone users.

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Although there were already alternatives such as bank transfers or the use of digital wallets such as Yape and Plin, which also offer QR code scanning to easily access the recipient’s account, the features and proposal of Apple Pay and the so-called ‘mobile payments’ mean a next step for users since, in addition to the immediacy of operations, they provide more robust security options.

To clarify any doubts about it, we explain what mobile payments consist of, how they work and, of course, how safe our money is if we use these means.

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What are mobile payments and how do they work?

The term ‘mobile payments’ includes all those transactions that can be made through a cell phone to pay for a product or service without involving cash or physical debit or credit cards in any way. In this way, people can go out to do their shopping, be served somewhere or simply pay for something.

However, Apple Pay and its congeners are often accompanied by the word ‘contactless’translated into Spanish as ‘contactless’, since it is only necessary to bring the device closer to a point of sale (POS) terminal.

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But how is this possible? Maria Laura CuyaProfessor of Finance at Pacific Business Schoolcommented to Trade that this faculty belongs to the NFC (Near Field Communication), technology that allows data to be exchanged between two devices wirelessly. It is enough to hold the smartphone close to a POS scanner and in a matter of seconds the transaction will be completed

Cuya mentioned.

Currently, the most used mobile payments in the world are Apple Pay, Google Pay and SamsungPay, with regard to official services of large technology firms. However, there are other applications that replicate this function such as Bizum or Twyp that have support for certain systems, albeit on a more limited basis compared to the three mentioned above.

NFC technology allows you to make a payment by bringing your cell phone closer to a POS. (Photo: Freepik)

Advantages and disadvantages of mobile payments

Whose made special emphasis that the immediacy of mobile payments is a great attraction for the public that wants everything to flow very quickly. By simply moving the mobile near the sales terminal, we are saving time that we could otherwise lose with actions such as taking out the wallet, counting the cash or, in the case of cards, passing the plastic band through the identifier or placing a key.

We live in a time when practically everyone has a smartphone regardless of their socioeconomic status, so having mobile payments as one more option is positive if we put ourselves in situations such as forgetting the wallet at home or not having access to cash and bank accounts at that time, he adds.

When it comes to security, Dmitry Bestuzhevdirector of the Global Research and Analysis Team for Latin America at Kasperskycommented to El Comercio that the most important feature of Apple Pay and similar services is the security it provides to the user.

All this is because when a debit or credit card is linked to the application, this information is not stored in the memory of the computer or the servers of the company in charge, but in the Secure Element, a chip which is responsible for encrypting and storing this data securely.

Bestuzhev told this newspaper.

The specialist stressed that with each payment made through this system, a unique code is generated to validate the transaction and that, even if cybercriminals were to obtain this code, it would be of no use to them since it is only useful at the time that is generated and the fact that biometric data such as a fingerprint or face is needed to confirm the operation only adds one more protection filter.

Of course, this does not mean that it is a 100% cybercriminal-proof method, since they could still obtain our biometrics, although -fortunately- with more complex methods. , Bestuzhev mentioned.

Mobile payments have become the favorite of thousands of people due to the immediacy and security they provide to the user.  (Photo: Visa)

Mobile payments have become the favorite of thousands of people due to the immediacy and security they provide to the user. (Photo: Visa)

How to set up and use mobile payments?

Since only Apple Pay is available in Peru for now, we will focus on this service to explain how mobile payments work. But first, it should be noted that these do not charge any commission for using their service, unlike other POS networks. If you are a user of iPhone 6 or later, you can access this platform and you just have to follow what we indicate below.

  • Access the ‘Wallet’ app that comes pre-installed on your iPhone
  • Press the ‘+’ button that will appear in this window
  • Link your credit or debit card by following the steps that will appear on your device
  • Verify the information entered with the bank or card issuer. There are usually no problems after the previous step, but if necessary, the corresponding agent of your card will ask you for more information to complete the configuration.

To pay with Apple Pay, you must do the following:

  • If your iPhone uses Face ID, double-tap the side button, identify yourself with your face, or enter your passcode
  • If your iPhone uses Touch ID, place your finger on the sensor on your device

Currently, the banks that support this payment method are BCP, BBVA, Interbank and Scotiabank, but the list is likely to expand in the near future. In Peru, Apple Pay can be used in POS that support ‘contactless’ technology and, so far, the Niubiz, Izipay and Cencosud networks have confirmed that they support this service.

It should be noted that although Google Pay, Samsung Pay and apps like Bizum and Twyp are not configured exactly the same as Apple Pay, the concept remains the same: you open the corresponding application, add your debit or credit card and confirm with your bank to start using it.

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Source: Elcomercio

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