1. What are mobile payments? 

Mobile payments are regulated transactions that take place digitally through your mobile device.

2. What is a mobile wallet?

A mobile wallet is an app that stores your debit and credit card details so that you can pay for things digitally using a mobile device. To use a mobile wallet, a consumer can download a mobile wallet app on their phone and add debit or credit card information which will be stored securely. Most mobile wallets require thumbprint authorization or other security measures in order to access the mobile wallet and pay.

3. How do mobile payments work?

In stores, mobile payments are enabled by a technology called NFC, which stands for “near field communication.”

4. What are the benefits of mobile payments?

Mobile payments are secure, fast, and convenient.

5. What’s the future of mobile payments?

Because of their enhanced security features and convenience, mobile payment adoption will continue to increase.

What are NFC mobile payments?

NFC, or “contactless,” payments are payments that occur in person between a mobile device and an equipped payments processor. To make an NFC mobile payment, you need to have a mobile wallet app on your device. And to accept an NFC mobile payment at your business, you need a payments reader (like the Square contactless and chip reader).

Contactless payments are as secure as EMV chip card payments but have some upsides when it comes to usage and speed.

Below are the most popular examples of NFC mobile payments apps. (To learn more about NFC, read our in-depth guide What Is NFC? Everything You Need to Know About Near Field Communication.)

Apple Pay

Apple Pay works on the iPhone (version 6 or newer),as well as the Apple Watch. To pay with Apple Pay, add a debit or credit card to the Wallet app on your device. When you’re at a store that accepts Apple Pay, hold your iOS device over the payments reader while holding your finger on the Touch ID button (which is an added layer of protection). Read more about how to use Apple Pay—and accept it at your business.

Android Pay

Google’s mobile wallet technology, Android Pay, is available on all NFC-enabled devices that run Android version 4.4 or later. To use Android Pay, open the app on your phone (which requires the user to have a secure lock screen) and complete the transaction by holding your device over the payments reader.

Samsung Pay

To use Samsung Pay, open the app and then hold your device over the payments reader. Samsung Pay works on the Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, and Galaxy Note 5.