I recently moved my banking to KBC, an experience you might have even read about. Since I made the move, I’ve been loving KBC. It’s the simple things like logging into my banking app with a fingerprint or having customer care over web chat at 10 pm. Then, of course, there’s Google Pay.
Many believe being able to pay for items with your phone through Google and Apple Pay is little more than a novelty. Yet, since I’ve moved my banking to KBC, I’ve probably used my card in-store three or four times. My phone has taken over the tapping. The really interesting thing is that I’m using my phone because it’s generally handier than my card. Here are four reasons why I’m using my Google Pay on my phone to pay for things now instead of my card.
You’ll Actually Know the Scandalous Price of a Pint
How often do you hand over your card to a barman before he wanders off into the distance only to return with your drink paid for. You’ve never seen the card machine and you’ve no idea what you just paid. You could insist he bring the machine over, but to be fair, the place is jammers so that’s not sound.
I’ve noticed that I’m more conscious of what I’m paying for the likes of a pint because it pops up on my screen. Tapping your card left, right and centre can often leave you feeling like you’re not really spending money. Google pay gives you a nice visual reminder of what that pint just set you back.
Tap as Often as you Like
Off the bat, this will sound like a first world problem but every now and then, the card machine beeps after you tap your card and asks for a PIN number. Now this varies from mild inconvenience with most banks to outright embarrassment if you’re with Permanent TSB. Their wireless cards get fully declined after you’ve tapped three times. Yes, declined as if the money isn’t in your account. Morto.
Once you activate Google Pay on your phone you’ll be forced to set up a screen lock. In order to pay using your smartphone in a shop, just tap it against the card machine. Items cost more than €30? No worries, you’ll just need to unlock your phone, either with a PIN or fingerprint.
If you’ve paid a few times without unlocking your phone, Google Pay will ask you to verify your identity through pin code or fingerprint. There are also some older card machines that won’t let you pay for items over €30 with Google Pay.
You’ll Always Have Your Phone on You
I had Google Pay for a whole day before I went to the shop and forgot my wallet. The intimidating thing was even though I’d set up Google Pay, I’d never used it before. I was terrified it wouldn’t work. Sure enough, while I hesitated a little in tapping my phone off the terminal, the payment went straight through – much to the amusement of one gentleman in the queue who was blown away by what he just saw.
If I needed to lend my card to someone or forgot it, I wouldn’t even notice because now I depend on my phone more than my card.
Once Upon a Time Contactless Was Weird
I still remember when contactless cards first came out. Shopkeepers would stand there with a vacant look on their face because I wanted to tap my card. Then they’d think you’re thick for trying to tap followed by shock when it worked. Everyone was worried about the security side of things and actually, that’s why I got myself a Secrid Wallet. Still, contactless payments became so normal and go on, be honest, a little part of you is angry when you have to type in your pin now, right?
That first time I used my phone to pay after forgetting my wallet the biggest surprise I got was the shopkeeper. He saw the phone in my hand and without even asking, he reached for the card machine. Straight away, he knew I wanted to pay with my phone. This tells me, it’s faster for shops as they’re predicting users using the system, but also that there are quite a few people using Google Pay now.
Right now, the biggest barrier to people using Google and Apple Pay is the bank they’re with. KBC and Ulster Bank and AID offer both services. The nations biggest bank, Bank of Ireland, along with Permanent TSB don’t offer any of these services so if you want to change how you pay for things, make the move.