Hand-held purchasing power

What are mobile payments?

Technology is changing our lives every day. Mobile payments allow you to pay for goods and services using your mobile device by linking to a physical credit card, debit card, or bank account while enjoying more convenience and security than with a physical card.

How it works

Most mobile payment processing methods rely on near-field communication (NFC). When two NFC-enabled devices are in range, they can transfer data (such as payment information) from one to the other. For example, using the consumer’s smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch with an NFC-enabled credit card terminal.

Mobile payments offer greater peace of mind because most of them rely on tokenization. When a mobile device is used to make a payment, the device generates a single-use unique number that it sends to the merchant. As a result, sensitive information, including card number, expiration date and security code are not exchanged with the merchant, reducing the risk of fraud. Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are examples of mobile payment service providers. You can also use the mobile wallet in your device to connect to mobile apps to make in-app purchases. These transactions are protected using tokenization just like purchases made in-store.

There may be some limitations

Not all merchants or mobile devices support mobile payments, so make sure to understand the features of your device. Some devices allow you to make purchases at a credit card terminal, the same as using a plastic card. Other systems use barcode scanning. While using mobile payments is usually free, there may be additional fees charged by the mobile service provider and/or the merchant. Always check your mobile plan and the linked account for any additional charges.

Some financial institutions may place a limit on mobile payment transaction amounts. If you want to check your transactions, they’ll be noted on your statements just like using a physical card. Because this is such a new technology, not all merchants are equipped to accept mobile payments, so you’ll still want to have other payment options like a physical debit or credit card. Contact your credit card issuer, bank, or financial institution if you have any questions or concerns about your accounts.


To learn more about mobile payments at Pacific Service CU, visit our website or call a member service representative at (888) 858-6878.

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