The best apps to pay with your smartphone

The best apps to pay with your smartphone
Payments and apps for paying with smartphones are spreading like wildfire. The reasons are many: the fight against cash has its roots in the past and represents a crucial issue for the tax system of any country, including Italy; the risks associated with carrying physical cards are real; the ongoing health emergency is further pushing the concept of "contactless". The scenario is particularly complex and for this reason mobile devices are making their way more and more also in this particular sector.

We have therefore decided to carry out an in-depth study on the subject. In this way, you will have a point of reference to fully understand smartphone payments, the technology behind them, the best payment apps currently available and the enormous potential for expansion. Before going into the analysis of the best applications, however, it is important to make some premises.

These premises cannot ignore some necessary technical information relating to smartphones. As we will see in fact, in the case of payments through these devices, everything revolves around the NFC chip, present both on Android and on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad). Let's go into more detail.

What is NFC and why it is important for smartphone payments

First of all, NFC stands for Near Field Communication (literally, "communication in proximity"). It therefore indicates a technology capable of putting two different devices in communication, using a short-range wireless (wireless) connection. From this point of view there are obvious similarities with Bluetooth, from which it differs in other respects. Its operation is in fact limited to about 10 centimeters away. Without forgetting how often, for purely safety reasons, the distance is reduced to 4 centimeters (or even less).

But what does "put in communication" mean? It means allowing the two devices to exchange information of various kinds. For example, NFC can allow on-the-fly pairing of wireless headphones with smartphones, as happens for example with the Sony WH-1000XM4. Above all, this technology allows smartphones, tablets and smartwatches to be able to make mobile payments through POS, as if they were real credit or prepaid cards.

The different approach to NFC between Android and iOS

As always, however, it all depends on the way in which any chip is implemented on the software side. In this sense, it is important to underline the different approach to NFC operated by Android and iOS. Smartphones and tablets based on the Google operating system and equipped with the component in question, allow it to be exploited with any payment platform. Nothing therefore prohibits, for example, the use of both Google Pay (the payment platform of the Mountain View company) and other services such as Satispay, Paypal Mobile Cash, Bancomat Pay on Xiaomi devices. In short, maximum freedom.

Different speech on the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. The NFC on these devices can be used for payments only in combination with the proprietary platform of the Cupertino company, Apple Pay. Moreover, operation with POS (and therefore payment in stores) is only guaranteed with a smartphone and smartwatch, while Apple tablets can only send money within the application and via the Safari browser. As often happens, therefore, the Californian giant prefers to prioritize its ecosystem.

How smartphone payment works

Having clarified these preliminary aspects, let's move on to the actual functioning of smartphone payments. It is good to clarify how all payment platforms share these mechanisms. The first thing to do is usually to enable the NFC chip (at least in Android smartphones, on iOS this happens automatically when necessary). Secondly, you need to create a profile and register the cards to be coupled to your account, whether they are prepaid, debit or credit cards. From this point of view, we invite you to check the compatibility of your bank (and consequently of your cards) with the chosen platform.

Finally, regardless of the service, you will have to choose a method to authenticate transactions. In any case it is possible to set a PIN number, just like with physical cards. Smartphones, however, make biometric sensors available, from fingerprint recognition to 3D scanning of the face. In this case a lot depends on the device in your possession: the latest generation iPhones allow you to authorize payments with Face ID, while the Samsungs provide infrared fingerprint scanning.

At this point the that's it. When the time has come to pay within a commercial activity, just start the chosen application (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Satispay etc.), physically bring the smartphone (or tablet, or smartwatch) close to the POS and authenticate the operation through the numeric PIN or the biometric system. That's all.

The best apps to pay with your smartphone

Now let's move on to the best apps to pay with your smartphone (and with mobile devices in general). This is a list that we will update regularly based on what the market will offer. This is in fact a particularly prolific sector, with new services that, year after year, become a valid alternative to the more well-known ones.

Google Pay

Google Pay is the payment system of the Mountain View company. Landed in Italy in September 2020, it immediately competed with Apple Pay. It is in fact designed to be used above all through smartphones, but in reality it can also be exploited on web portals and applications through various devices. In general it is compatible with any Android smartphone, tablet or smartwatch equipped with NFC.

Like any payment system of this type, in order to use Google Pay you need to associate your credit card, prepaid or debit card. It is obviously necessary that your credit institution support the service. To date, the compatible ones are: Banca Mediolanum, Banco di Sardegna, Bper: Banca,

Boon, Carta BCC, Fineco Bank, Hype, N26, Nexi, Postepay, Revolut, Tim Pay, UBI Banca, Unicredit, Volksbank , Widiba, Wirecard, Bunq.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay is the payment system of the Mountain View company. Landed in Italy in May 2017, it is a service that has spread very quickly thanks to the large number of partners involved. It is essentially designed to be used on iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches, with different possibilities depending on the device, as already mentioned in the previous paragraphs.

In order to use Apple Pay, you need to associate your own credit card, prepaid or debit card. It is obviously necessary that your credit institution support the service. Below is the list of compatible ones: American Express, Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, Visa-Pay, AllianzBanca, Mediolanum, BoonBuddy, Bank, Bunq, Carrefour, Banca Carta, BCC, Expendia, EdenRed, SmartFineco Bank, Hype, Tim Personal, Intesa San Paolo, Unicredit, N26, Widiba, Nexi. One of the most popular apps to pay therefore.

Apple Pay is also integrated into the service of the Cupertino company called Wallet. Therefore, compared to Google Pay, it is not necessary to install a specific application, but to add a compatible card within Wallet. Below is a list of compatible devices: iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone X, iPhone 8 , iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone SE 2020, iPad Pro (4th generation), iPad Pro (3rd generation), iPad (6th generation), iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation), iPad (6th generation), iPad Air 3, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3, Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2, Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Series 5, Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, Mac with Touch ID, Mac introduced since 2012 paired with an iPhone or Apple Watch compatible with the service.

Samsung Pay

Samsu ng Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet method provided by Samsung that allows users to make payments using compatible smartphones and other Samsung products. The service supports contactless payments using NFC, but also MST which allows contactless payments even on POS terminals that only support physical card payments.

The service was launched in South Korea on August 20, 2015 and in the United States on September 28 of the same year. In Italy, the main banks and compatible card circuits are: MasterCard, Maestro, Visa, V Pay, Banca Mediolanum, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Banco di Sardegna, BPER Banca, CartaBCC, Chebanca !, Hello Bank !, Intesa Sanpaolo, Nexi and the partner banks, Ubi Banca, UniCredit. Among the best apps to pay.

The devices that support Samsung Pay are: Galaxy Z Fold2 5G, Galazy Z Flip 5G, Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Note20, Note20 Ultra 5G , Galaxy Note10, Note10 +, Note10 5G, Note10 Lite, Galaxy Note9, Galaxy Note8, Galaxy S20 FE, Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, S20 +, S20, Galaxy S10 +, S10, S10e, S10 5G, S10 Lite, Galaxy S9, S9 +, Galaxy S8, S8 +, Galaxy S7, S7 edge, Galaxy S6 edge +, Galaxy A90 5G, Galaxy A80, Galaxy A71, Galaxy A70, Galaxy A51 5G, Galaxy A51, Galaxy A50, Galaxy A42 5G ,, Galaxy A41, Galaxy A40, Galaxy A31 , Galaxy A30s, Galaxy A20e, Galaxy A9, Galaxy A8, Galaxy A7 (2018), Galaxy A6, A6 +, Galaxy A5 (2017), Galaxy A5 (2016), Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Watch3, Galaxy Watch Active2, Galaxy Watch Active, Galaxy Watch, Gear S3, Gear Sport.

Bancomat Pay

Bancomat Pay is used to instantly transfer sums of money from your current account. The transfer operations can involve commercial exchanges (in-store or online payments) or personal (e.g. friends, relatives). In affiliated shops a QR code is displayed at the cash point. To pay, just launch the app used for the service, scan the QR code, continue entering the amount and confirm. That's all, simple and immediate for one of the most popular payment apps.

As for the P2P exchange between family and friends, the application must instead be authorized to access contacts in the address book. It is available both on the Google Play Store (therefore for Android smartphones) and on the Apple App Store (for iOS devices). In this second case, however, it cannot be used to pay in shops.


Satispay is a payment app via smartphone that, by entering the IBAN code and mobile number, allows you to make money transactions without a credit or debit card and without the need for a device equipped with NFC technology. It allows you to pay in shops (there are 44 thousand affiliated businesses throughout Italy, with the addition of a hundred a day), send money to friends (think of the collections organized for birthday gifts), shop online and make donations, pay the Public Administration bills (pagoPA) such as taxes and fines, and make phone top-ups.

Just enter the PIN code in your Satispay application, select the payment option, choose the affiliated shop, enter the amount and send the payment. Paying with Satispay is safe both because the system does not use sensitive data and because after payment the application closes and does not allow third parties to access the money. One of the best payment apps.

Powered by Blogger.