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Published February 23, 2024
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How Do I Pay With My Phone?

Instead of carrying your wallet around and pulling it out at check-out, you can just tap your phone, which is always on you, to pay for most things now.

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If you have a smartphone, you can use the device’s digital wallet to both make contactless payments in-person and online payments. Learning how to pay with your phone starts with linking your credit card to the digital wallet app on your phone. 

How to pay with your phone

To pay using your phone, you’ll first need to choose a digital wallet or mobile payment app. Check with your bank regarding which of their credit and debit cards can be used with each wallet provider. 

The three main digital wallet types on phones are: 

  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Samsung Pay. 

Your phone may already have a pre-installed digital wallet. If not, download your chosen app from your phone’s store and enable security features. Once you set everything up, you’re ready to make payments: 

  • Look for the contactless payment symbol (the four curved lines) and the Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay symbol 
  • Use FaceID, TouchID or double-click on a fitness device to authenticate  
  • Hover your phone over the EFTPOS machine near the symbol 
  • Wait for the transaction approval sound and for the tick icon to appear on the screen of the EFTPOS machine. 

There are no additional fees for using your mobile phone to pay, but you will need to enter your card’s PIN at the EFTPOS machine on transactions above $100. 

How to use Apple Pay with an iPhone

Apple Pay is the most popular digital wallet in Australia. It’s the mobile payment service built into all Apple devices — iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac. 

Apple Pay vs. Apple Wallet

Apple Pay allows you to make purchases with your iPhone. And Apple Wallet, like a physical wallet, is the place where you store credit cards, debit cards, and other items (licences, tickets, travel cards, etc). Most iPhones come with Apple Wallet pre-installed. 

Apple Pay Compatibility

Devices that work with Apple Pay 

Compatible with iPhones, Apple Watches, Macs and iPads. 

Credit cards that work with Apple Pay 

Most Australian banks allow Apple Pay. So, it’s more likely your credit card will work with Apple Pay rather than not. Check with your bank first to make sure your card will work with Apple Pay. 

How to set up Apple Pay 

Set up Apple Pay via the Wallet app on your iPhone or your banking app. 

Via Apple Wallet app: 

  • Open the Wallet app and click on the plus sign in the upper right corner 
  • Click on ‘Debit or Credit Card’ 
  • Scan your card or manually enter details. 

Via your online banking app:   

The steps will differ slightly depending on who you bank with. However, most follow the same sequence. Here’s an example for CommBank customers:

  • Open the CommBank app and select ‘Cards’ 
  • Swipe to the card you want to use, select ‘Add to Apple Wallet’ and follow the prompts. 

How to make a payment

Look for the contactless payment symbol or Apple Pay logo. Your iPhone replaces your physical card. You can authorise a payment at checkout either with FaceID or Touch ID. 

  • FaceID: Double-click the side button (on the right) and glance at your screen. Hold your iPhone to the contactless terminal. 
  • Touch ID: Hold your iPhone near the contactless terminal and place your finger on the Touch ID. 

Other ways to use Apple Pay 

If you live in New South Wales, you can use your iPhone to tap on when using public transport to pay by credit card instead of an Opal card

Apple Pay is also a more convenient, safer way to shop online because you don’t have to input your credit card number and other details into external websites. 

How to use Google Pay with an Android

Google Pay is the primary mobile wallet for Android phones. It allows you to make contactless payments with a compatible Android device instead of using a credit card. 

Google Pay vs. Google Wallet 

Google Pay allows you to pay for items using the credit card saved in your Google account. And Google Wallet is the app on your Android device and can also store other items such as tickets and passes. 

Google Pay Compatibility 

Devices that work with Google Pay 

Your mobile must run on Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher and support NFC and HCE technology. Google Pay is also available with Fitbit and Google Wear OS-supported watches. 

Credit cards that work with Google Pay 

Check with your bank. Many credit and debit cards are eligible for use with Google Pay, but not all. 

How to set up Google Pay 

  • Download the Google Pay app from the Google Play store 
  • Click on the ‘Set it up’ button under ‘Pay contactless with your phone’
  • Open Google Pay, tap on the payment option and select your card. 

How to make a payment

You can use Google Pay in the same way you would use Apple Pay. Just look for the GPay logo instead, with the contactless payment symbol. At the terminal, unlock your phone, hold it over the machine and wait for the ‘tick’ checkmark. You don’t even need to open the Google Pay app. 

Other ways to use Google Pay 

You can tap on the New South Wales and Victorian public transport network with Google Pay – just use your Android phone instead of a transport card. 

Some banks allow customers to take out cash using Google Pay. For example, with the Bank SA Freedom card, you can tap your phone and get money from a linked debit card. You’ll need to enter your PIN at the terminal. Suncorp, on the other hand, does not allow for withdrawals via Google Pay. 

» MORE: Can you withdraw cash from your credit card?

How to use Samsung Pay with a Samsung 

Samsung Pay is a mobile payment service on Samsung devices. And Samsung Pay is what Apple Pay is for iPhones, in which you make contactless payments using a Samsung phone without needing a physical credit card.    

Samsung Pay vs. Samsung Wallet 

Samsung Pay is the payment feature of the Samsung Wallet. The Wallet stores all payment cards, loyalty cards, travel tickets, boarding passes, passwords, and more. 

Samsung Pay compatibility 

Devices that work with Samsung Pay 

Samsung Pay is available on NFC-compatible devices such as Samsung Galaxy models, watches, and sport gear. 

Credit cards that work with Samsung Pay 

Check with your bank. They’ll have a list of eligible credit cards.

How to set up Samsung Pay 

Most Samsung devices come pre-installed with Samsung Pay. You can also download it from the Google Play Store. 

  • Open the app and sign into your Samsung account 
  • Choose a verification method (PIN, fingerprint, or iris scan) and authenticate 
  • Register a Samsung Pay PIN 
  • Tap ‘Add Card’ and scan your credit card or enter details manually 
  • Click ‘Next’ and add your billing details 
  • Read and accept the Terms of Service and Privacy Notice 
  • Verify your bank card with SMS or email and submit the code. 

How to make a payment

Paying with a Samsung phone is relatively straightforward. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen at the terminal to access Samsung Pay. Your credit cards will pop up on the screen. Select the payment card and authenticate the transaction with a PIN, fingerprint or iris scan, then hold over the contactless terminal. 

Other ways to use Samsung Pay 

New South Wales residents and travellers can use a Samsung Pay instead of an Opal Card while using public transport. 

You can also add loyalty program cards to Samsung Pay to conveniently accrue rewards.

» MORE: Can you tap on with a credit card on a train?

Is it safe to pay with your mobile phone?

Paying for everyday transactions on your mobile phone is safe and convenient. It’s best to look at how your specific digital wallet treats safety concerns related to your financial and transaction information. Review their policies around data and fraud detection. Follow best practices for safety and security. 

Measures are in place to prevent thieves from loading stolen credit cards into digital wallets or tapping with lost or stolen phones. For example, transactions require Face ID, fingerprint or your passcode to authenticate. Transactions over $100 also require your PIN. 

Mobile wallets have a built-in security feature that conceals card details when making a digital purchase, such as virtual credit cards and card numbers. Instead of sending the details to the merchant, the digital wallet passes a unique code to process the transaction. Apple Pay, for example, uses a device-specific number and unique transaction code. Your device or the provider’s servers never store card details or transaction information. 

Talk to your bank about specific safety advice and habits you can implement if you plan to pay for transactions with your phone, in-person and online. Banks want to keep their customers safe, so it’s worth discussing your specific needs and concerns.


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