Online transactions using a web browser allow many of us to manage our finances securely and efficiently.
Paypal, implemented as both a website and a smartphone app, is an alternative to secure cash payments and transfers, both nationally and internationally. It enables you to pay, send money, and accept payments through linking to an existing financial account. It is recommended to link it to a credit card account to minimize liability in case of fraudulent use. Some other popular cash payment and transfer apps are Venmo and Zelle, but these are mostly useful in person-to-person transactions.
When you are in a store, don’t use cash, never use a debit card and never use paper checks – use one of your credit cards. With new technology comes an improvement – “mobile” payments using a smartphone. Called variously Apple Pay®, Samsung Pay®or Google Pay®, mobile payments using Near Field Communication (or NFC) are more secure than traditional credit card transactions, even the digital-chip-in-card kind.
With a debit card or a credit card connected to the digital wallet app in your smartphone, NFC allows information to pass between your device and a retailer’s payment terminal when they are “near” one another (a few inches). Most major retailers support this at checkout. Given that this is an emerging technology, you will have to ask the cashier if it’s available.
Most Android®, Apple®, and Samsung® smartphones have a digital wallet. Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and Samsung Pay® apps use this for payments.
Each transaction uses a unique, random transaction number—instead of your account or credit card number. Your account information is encrypted, and can only be accessed via password or, with some smartphones, your face/fingerprint. A neat advantage is that if your card or its information is ever lost or stolen, banks can issue a new one to your smartphone immediately – no waiting for the mail. If your smartphone is lost or stolen, follow previous guidance on securing and, possibly, recovering it.
With fingerprint recognition on your smartphone, you hold your smartphone near the payment terminal while your fingertip is on the Home button. A vibration and beep will confirm your payment and a transaction record magically appears in your digital wallet.
FOR FURTHER READING:
CyberGuardian: a SecureTheVillage Guide for Residents is available on Amazon.
A complete Security Checklist is available: https://www.nerdsiview.com/security-checklist-2/
References for Village Residents are available at SECURE THE VILLAGE: https://securethevillage.org/residents