The Basics of Mobile Payments

The Basics of Mobile Payments

Many of us turn to our cell phones to check our bank accounts, make payments and to bank on-the-go.

Mobile payment services have evolved in recent years. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular options.

  • Direct Carrier Billing: Rather than using a credit card or bank account; the charges are added to your phone bill. Making in-app purchases is one of the most common examples. You may also be able to purchase digital content like TV shows or movies, through direct carrier billing.
  • SMS Payments: These allow you to send money to someone by entering their phone number in a payment app. The recipient gets a text message, and they receive the money to their designated account.
  • Mobile Point of Sale: These allow vendors to accept payment from credit cards swiped through a reader attached to a mobile device. The touch screen of the device displays the details for the buyer to confirm the purchase. Square, PayPal Here, LevelUp, and Clover are some of the most popular ones.
  • Payment Apps: Apps like Zelle and Venmo makes sending money easy and fast. But make sure to only send money to people you know and trust.

Mobile wallet payments using NFC (near field communication) are also very popular, allowing users to make purchases in stores using their phones. Payments are typically made by bringing your phone close to the terminal and confirming the purchase right on your screen.

  • Apple Pay: This was the first NFC payment system to make a big splash, and it works on iPhone 6 and later, and the Apple Watch. Payments are verified using your fingerprint.
  • Samsung Pay: This has the most widespread functionality because it works not only at payment terminals with NFC technology, but also any terminal with a magnetic stripe reader. It works on many of the Samsung Galaxy devices and is authorized with your fingerprint.
  • Android Pay: This system works on any Android phone with NFC technology when used at an NFC-equipped payment terminal. It has the advantage of being verified with a PIN rather than requiring a fingerprint, making it ideal for older phones without fingerprint technology.

If you’re interested in learning more about mobile financial services, explore our Mobile Wallet and Mobile Banking pages.

Revised November 2022

Information presented in the Financial Advice website is provided for educational purposes only and is not related to Ameris Bank's actual products or services. Ameris Bank makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness or specific suitability of any information presented. Information provided should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal or tax advice. Ameris Bank recommends you consult a professional for any specific guidance you are seeking.