How to Use Apple Pay or Google Pay Instead of Plastic Cards

The spread of contactless payment options are changing the way businesses interact with customers at the point of purchase, from international retailers to local pop-up stores. But there’s no need to fear just yet if you enjoy buying things with cold, hard cash. Plastic cards are first on the chopping block.

“I would suggest that the time is ripe to plan for plastic (and metal) cards to be sent to Shady Pines Nursing Home for the Tragically Overstayed Welcome,” wrote Nick Holland, global head of insights and networks at Money 20/ 20. During the group’s 2022 conference in October in Las Vegas, financial technology companies focused on efficiency and seamless experiences were front and center as plastic cards faded into the background.

Anyone on the fence about using their smartphone for contactless payments should check out Whitson Gordon’s case for adopting the technology. Convinced and need guidance on setting up Apple Pay or Google Wallet? Apple and Google provide step-by-step instructions to guide you through this initial setup. After linking your cards to the mobile device and practicing the necessary steps to complete purchases, here are some tips to help you get the most out of smartphone wallets.

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Don’t forget about phone-to-phone payments

You can comfortably tap your phone against a cash register terminal, but it feels like a surprise the first time a store asks you to tap your phone on their phone. Small retailers, delivery companies, and take-out restaurants can continue to forgo traditional card terminals entirely, as companies like Mastercard and Visa introduce features that use near-field communication chip technology to enable phone-to-phone payments. Similar to the Lightning port on the iPhone, the era of credit card readers plugged into smartphones is likely coming to an end.

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Use virtual card numbers

Always check to see what your options are when it comes to virtual card numbers. For example, if you choose to get an Apple Card on your iPhone and the number runs out, it can be changed with just a few taps. Open your Wallet and click on Apple card. In the upper right corner, select the map icon and select the button that reads Request New Card Number. Virtual card numbers aren’t just useful for smartphone payments. Google has added the option to use the security feature easily in your web browser.

Add more than just payment methods

Your debit card and credit card are probably the first items you connect to your digital wallet. It doesn’t have to stop there! From boarding passes to proof-of-vaccine cards, digital wallets can hold so much more than just payments. It is even possible to link your health insurance card for easy access. (The main aspect of a physical wallet that a digital one can never replicate is that it is a secret receptacle for collecting ancient receipts and scraps of paper.)

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Keep some cash on hand

Even if you choose to use your mobile device instead of a plastic card for most personal transactions, it still makes sense to keep a few dollar bills in your wallet. Just in case. Your smartphone could get wet and stop working. Also, not every store is set up to accept Apple Pay or Google Wallet. Some retailers even offer a small discount to customers who pay with cash.

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