If you haven’t set up the digital wallet, now is the perfect time to get comfortable with this standard feature on your smartphone.  Using a digital wallet lets you purchase goods and services with just a tap of your smartphone at checkout.  This is called contactless payment.  And, as the name implies, using contactless payment allows you to avoid touching cash and keypads during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.  Called “Tap and Pay” it reduces transmission of the virus and is the safer way to make payments for both the retailer and the consumer.

Contactless payment is one of the fastest growing payment methods fueled in part by its ease of use but also, to some degree, by the need for a contactless method to purchase goods and services without the transmission of germs.  As the need and popularity of contactless payment surges many government and businesses are taking note.  Over 30 countries have increased contactless payments limits as a means of encouraging use as well as supporting the need for social distancing.  People are seeking out businesses that utilize contactless payments.  Many businesses in cities particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are only accepting contactless payments to avoid contact with money.

The secret behind contactless payments with a smartphone is Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Most of the three billion smartphones in the world have NFC as a standard feature.  It provides a fast, simple and secure transaction.  For example, at the site of payment, your transaction has an initial degree of protection based on NFC’s short transmission range, typically just a few centimeters away from a reader at checkout.  Along with standardized technical specifications NFC can feature encryption, authentication, and other security features for both applications and devices.

As the global organization working to advance the use of NFC, the NFC Forum plays a leading role in fostering the development and deployment of secure NFC solutions.  If you’d like to know more about the security of NFC, take a look at these frequently asked questions.

Now, read ahead to learn how to add credit cards to your smartphone’s wallet securely.

6 Easy Steps To Add Credit Cards To Your Smartphone’s Wallet Securely

Follow these six easy steps to add credit cards to your Android or Apple iOS device and start using your smartphone to pay for goods and services.  Once your cards have been added, and you’re ready to make a payment, check to see if the retailer has the Apply Pay symbol or an NFC reader, usually located at checkout.  You can recognize it either by the N-Mark or traditionally three or four half crescents increasing in size, like you’d imagine radio waves.

To pay, simply hold or tap your phone near a reader – located at the cash register – to purchase your groceries, gas, take-out or delivery.

To add a credit card to your Apple iOS device:

  1. Open your iOS device and search for your Wallet application.
  2. When your online Wallet is open you will be informed about Apple Pay. When ready, click continue.
  3. Next, select the “+” sign in the top right corner.
  4. Add your credit or debit card to your mobile wallet by following the steps provided by Apple.
  5. You will receive a verification call or text from Apple to confirm your mobile wallet.
  6. You are ready to go!

When you’re prepared to make a payment and have tried to Tap and Pay and the Apple Pay icon does not appear you can double tap your lock screen to manually trigger Apple Pay.  When confirming your payment, your Apple Wallet will need either your face ID, touch ID, or your pin.

To add a credit card to your Android device:

  1. Open your Android device.
  2. Search for the Google Play Store Application and open it.
  3. Tap Menu then select Payment Methods.
  4. Under the “Add Payment Method” option, select the payment method you wish to add.
  5. Follow the instructions to add a debit or credit card.
  6. You are ready to go!