Pay contactless: banks, apps and participating shops

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Contactless payment is possible with almost any smartphone thanks to Apple Pay or Android Pay. Businesses such as Aldi and Edeka are now taking part. You can also pay with accounts with Sparkasse, DKB, ING, Raiffeisen-Banken and Co. with your mobile phone. Service providers such as PayPal enable mobile payment for everyone else. You can find out how all this works here.

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With these mobile phones you can pay contactless

How does payment work with your mobile phone? Contactless payment is possible with new credit cards and some debit cards. Their profile can be Rfid-capable Nfc-Copy chips from smartphones and smartwatches. This allows you to hold these devices at checkout terminals instead of your credit card and pay contactless according to the same rules (regarding PIN or fees). In the meantime, dealers receive almost only PCI-compliant terminals, so that acceptance for this payment method is growing.

End of March 2020 MasterCard announcedto raise the threshold for pin querying. In the euro area, this has been raised to a uniform EUR 50. Previously, it was 25 euros in Germany. The credit card company sees this as a contribution to increasing hygiene in payment transactions. There had been a rapid increase in contactless payment transactions in recent weeks.

The same limit of EUR 50 also applies to VISA cards (Source). When you pay contactless amounts below this threshold, you will not be asked for the PIN or your signature. You can change limits in online banking and ATMs.

Android smartphones

The list of Android devices is pleasingly long, with which you can pay contactless. If your mobile phone meets the technical requirements for Google Pay, nothing stands in the way of Mobile Payment:

These criteria apply to around two out of three Android phones. If in doubt, you simply try to install the following app and link it to your PayPal account or even your bank:

If your device is compatible with Android Pay, you can probably also use the third-party contactless payment apps listed below.

Apple iPhones

iPhones also use an NFC module for contactless payment. You use the Apple Pay service, where you deposit your bank’s credit card. Compatible iPhones are according to the help document

  • iPhone models with Face ID
  • iPhone models with Touch ID, except iPhone 5s

Payment transactions are secured by biometrics. Third-party or banking apps are not allowed to use the NFC module; contactless payment with iPhones is only possible via Apple Pay.

Compatible smartwatches for mobile payment

Wear OS watches for contactless payment

Several smartwatches with the Android derivative Wear OS use Google Pay for mobile payment. Technical requirements are only one NFC module and the latest operating system version. Among the probably hundreds of Android Pay-enabled smartwatches are the following well-known models:

Contactless payment with the smartwatch works like a smartphone: On the watch, you launch the Google Pay app, select your credit card and place the smartwatch on the reader. The data is matched via NFC and the payment process is completed. For payments over 30 euros (for MasterCard only from 50 euros) or for debit card transactions, you need to sign or enter a PIN.

Which banks and companies offer Google Pay in Germany, you can best the official list.

Incidentally, the same applies to smartphones: Android Pay-enabled watches are theoretically also suitable for contactless payment with other apps. The respective providers only need to implement this in their app.

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Android watches with NFC module are suitable for contactless payment. / © AndroidPIT

Apple Watches with Apple Pay

All currently available models of the Apple Watch support contactless payment via Apple Pay.

  • Watch Series 3
  • Watch Series 4
  • Watch Series 5

Which banks or companies currently support Apple Pay in Germany, you can the official list.

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Apple fans swear by the Watch Series 4. / © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Samsung Pay

Samsung watches use both their own operating and payment systems. The models …

  • Galaxy Watch (Active)
  • Gear Sport
  • Gear S3 Classic/Frontier

… use Tizen as the operating system and Samsung Pay as a method for mobile payment. In almost all neighbouring countries, this service works at checkout terminals. Only in Germany does Samsung find no cooperation partners for its system.

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Samsung Pay is not yet working in Germany. / © AndroidPIT

Garmin Pay

Garmin pulse watches and sports wearables use Garmin Pay. The following models work:

  • v voactive 3
  • fenix 5-Plus series
  • MARQ Collection

In Germany, Garmin Pay is only used to a limited extent; usual house banks are all missing. Current cooperations lists Garmin officially.

Garmin Fenix 5X Plus 10

Garmin Pay is theoretically possible for mobile payment with the fitness tracker. / © AndroidPIT

Fitbit Pay

Fitbit uses its own payment system Pay. It works on the models …

As is often the case, you will find few banks in Germany that support Fitbit Pay. For this purpose, the provider maintains a Official list. We are eagerly awaiting the future of Fitbit Pay after Google’s parent company Alphabet’s takeover.

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You can also pay with the Fitbit Versa. / © AndroidPIT

SwatchPAY!

Fintech and Boon.-Mother Wirecard has fraternized with watch manufacturer Swatch and SwatchPAY! Started. You can recognize the compatible watches directly by the name, because it contains the term “PAY!”. The models cost 75 Euros in purchase. It could be that Swatch is more banks Cooperates. But at the moment everything is going on boon.

Banks and apps for contactless payment

Contactless payment with Google Pay

Thanks to Google Pay, your smartphone or smartwatch is a Visa or MasterCard compared to checkout terminals and is equally suitable for contactless payment. The number of compatible banks and credit card providers is steadily increasing; Google performs a Current listAbove, we list some Google Pay-enabled smartphones and smartwatches for you.

If your bank does not officially support Google Pay, you can link it to the app via PayPal and set up PayPal’s virtual credit card for mobile payment. There are no additional fees for you when paying.

By the way, Google Pay can also be found in apps and online shops as a payment method. Your purchases will no longer require a log-in. Just tap quite impulsively Buy, confirmed with the fingerprint and Google transmits to the trader all necessary data from your profile.

Pay at checkout with Apple Pay

Since the end of 2018, we have been able to register our bank’s Visa and Mastercards with Apple Pay in Germany and pay contactless at hundreds of thousands of checkout terminals. About two dozen banks can be according to the help document with Apple Pay. Volksbank and Sparkasse have also agreed to finally cooperate with Apple Pay after some whimsy.

PayPal: the back door to Google Pay

While the PayPal app itself no longer offers the possibility to mobile pay at checkout terminals, you can use your PayPal account like a credit card in Google Pay. This allows you to link bank accounts to Google Pay that don’t offer contactless payment themselves. The catch: This backdoor does not work on otherwise Payment-enabled smartwatches, as seen in the Google Help Is.

Mobile payment for anyone with boon.

Boon. is both the payment app and the account of the billionaire Munich-based company Wirecard. Uses the service natively on several NFC-enabled Android smartphones or via Google Pay or Apple Pay. Also Garmin Pay, Fitbit Pay, SwatchPAY! or Sony’s service wena can be used with boon. which makes it one of the most sociable among payment methods for non-contact checkout terminals.

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Boon. is payment service and bank account in one. / © AndroidPIT

Payback Pay

Payback has developed its own payment solution, which is based on the Payback Pay Hear. Pay by direct debit from your existing bank account. In the same handle, you’ll earn points on your payback card. Although Payback Pay now uses NFC for contactless payment in addition to QR code, only partners such as Aral, dm, Galeria Kaufhof, Real, Rewe, Alnatura, TeeGschwendner, Thalia or Penny accept the service.

Banks

Deutsche Bank, Sparkasse and Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken want to use their own app for contactless payment. Logically, the fees for partners such as Google or Apple will be eliminated, even if they are never publicly quantified.

However, there are certain limitations. iPhone users will first have to wait for Apple to comply with the court ruling and release the NFC module in iPhones for the banking apps. And then it may be that your bank branch does not participate at all. On your bank’s website you can check if your bank is already there.

Stores that accept Mobile Payment

The methods for mobile payment presented here are all based on the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard; usually abbreviated with PCI. Since the beginning of 2020, shopkeepers can only buy payment terminals that support contactless payment according to PCI. Of course, older terminals will still be in use by then and there will always be shops that do not accept card payment at all. But their share can only shrink.

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If you find one of these symbols at the entrance to a store, you can pay with your mobile phone. / © Apple

Conclusion

After long, sometimes ongoing power games between banks, shops and hardware manufacturers, contactless payment finally arrives at us. Thanks to the combination of Google Pay and PayPal, you can pay for cash- and contact-free hygienic payments with accounts of almost all banks and almost all Android smartphones.


The article has been checked again for up-to-date and extended by the marked area.

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