I’ve always been a latecomer with technology. I didn’t get a cell phone until I graduated college in 2006. I still prefer cars without touchscreens and watches that don’t tell me how many calories I’m burning. Given the choice, I’d play a heated game of Battleship over World of Warcraft. My wife, however, was born as a tech-savvy demigod, meaning she talks in social media acronyms, adjusts our home thermostat from her car, and uses her cell phone as her payment method of choice. When I discovered Bank of the Ozarks now offers Apple Pay™, Samsung Pay™ and Android Pay™, I didn’t really care, but after watching my wife pay with her cell phone for months now, I’m convinced I shouldn’t be such a latecomer to this technology.
I was skeptical that using a phone wouldn’t be any faster than swiping a plastic card, but because cards are now using chip authentication, which has a learning curve, I’d estimate mobile payment is as much as twenty seconds faster at checkout. She doesn’t have to open an app or even wake her phone to pay, she just taps it on the reader and authenticates the transaction with a fingerprint.
Beyond the convenience factor, using a phone is safer than I first thought. Every time I get out my plastic card, I’m brandishing my name, account number, and security code to everyone nearby. With Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay, not only is my wife’s information not visible, but because of tokenization technology, the app doesn’t send her actual card data to the merchant either. Instead, it sends a one-time-use dummy number that protects her real information if there is ever a data breach at the retailer. Furthermore, because these apps help her keep track of purchases, it’s easy to spot suspicious activity on the fly.
I’m convinced I don’t want to be such a Luddite with this technology. I’ll download the app and start using a mobile payment method . . . just as soon as I upgrade my flip phone.
By Adam Lucas Adam Lucas holds a Finance degree and an MBA from the University of Kentucky. His work has appeared in many major outlets including Yahoo, AARP.org, and GoBankingRates.com.
Monday on the Money is a weekly commentary from Bank of the Ozarks providing financial advice and solutions important to you and your family.