Mobile Payment Gives Seniors Security

By: Ignacio Aranda

If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right? For so long, consumers have been comfortable with the tried-and-true processes of carrying cash, debit or credit cards, and checks. It feels normal. There’s a sense of comfort in feeling the tangible card or cash in your hand.

Experts tell us, though, that the way forward in structure, convenience, and security is in mobile payment services. Mobile payment services allow a user to take compatible debit or credit cards and create a virtual copy that is securely accessible on a smartphone. Once set up, you can tap your smartphone on a card reader at your grocery store or favorite restaurant and complete a purchase like a physical card.

Is it safe? 

Apple and Google, as well as banks like Chase, Bank of America, and American Express, are enthusiastic about the security of mobile payment systems and agree they are as safe as, or even safer than, the “traditional” methods.

When you perform a tap-to-pay transaction, none of your complete card or personal information is shared with the merchant. These services create transaction-specific security codes, making payments more secure and difficult to trace.

Setup is easy

Whether you have an iPhone or an Android, you can search for the “Wallet” app that automatically comes on your smartphone. Apple’s service is called “Apple Pay,” and Android’s is called “Google Pay.” Both apps have a plus (+) button you can tap to add a new payment debit/credit card. You can use your smartphone’s camera to scan and transcribe your card information, or you can select “enter details manually.” Afterward, you agree to a few terms of use with the bank, and you are all set up.

Ignacio Aranda spent seven-plus years with Apple before joining The Senior Source’s Elder Financial Safety Center. The technology trainer aims to empower older adults with technological literacy for financial safety and personal enrichment. The Senior Source, a nonprofit formed in 1961, assists more than 25,000 seniors and their families annually. Visit for a schedule of classes. 

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