How Google Pay allows you to make purchases without your credit card



a close up of a computer: How Google Pay allows you to make purchases without your credit card


© Akanksha Sarma
How Google Pay allows you to make purchases without your credit card

Tapping the contactless credit and debit card at near field communication (NFC) enabled point-of-sale (POS) terminals for paying bills after shopping has eased the payment process for many customers. It enables you to transact quickly and there is no risk of the card details getting compromised at the merchant’s place. Ever imagined that you can now do the shopping in a similar way by using your mobile phone at the billing counter?

Recently, Google Pay announced the rollout of ‘tokenisation’ across its platforms. This allows customers to safely transact with their cards saved in the app and use the tap-to-pay feature on NFC-enabled POS terminals and online merchants. The payment app has partnered with Visa and banking partners. This feature is at present available to users of Axis Bank, and SBI Card holders. Others such as Kotak Mahindra Bank are expected to provide this feature to card users very soon.

Through tokenisation, at present, only android users of Google Pay can use their debit or credit card to make payments through a secure digital token linked to their phones, without having to physically share their credit or debit card details. The feature also works with online merchants. For iPhone users, there is no timeframe as yet decided on offering this feature.

What is tokenisation?

The 16-digit number on the card gets replaced with a unique code, also known as ‘token.’ Tokens are used to protect your payment information and to reduce the security risks inherent to plastic cards.

“We are hopeful that the tokenisation feature will further encourage users to transact securely and safely in the current pandemic times, and expand merchant transactions both online and offline,” says Sajith Sivanandan, Business Head of Google Pay and NBU-India.

How do I store my credit card details on Google Pay?

You need to first add your credit or debit card onto Google Pay. When you do that, Google Pay creates a virtual account number known as a ‘token’ that replaces your card’s actual number. While making payments, open Google Pay and select the saved card for the transaction, authenticate the transaction via a one-time password (OTP) and the payment will be completed. You don’t need to share the 16-digit card number, CVV and card expiry details in the e-commerce website while shopping and while paying utility bills using Google Pay.

How can I tap and pay at a store after adding my card on Google Pay?

Once you register your card on the Google Pay app, you can start using it to buy anything. Tap your mobile phone on the POS terminal and enter the card PIN. You can pay at any store that has a tap-and-pay enabled terminal. You should look for terminals with the ‘contactless’ symbol to use this feature.

How do I pay using a card for online shopping through Google Pay?

After choosing the Google Pay as payment option on the shopping website or app, you will get a message for authorising the transaction and completing the payment. You have the option to pay via the UPI or the card saved on Google Pay. You can choose the card payment option and complete the payment transaction without giving the card details on the merchant website.

But I am already using Google Pay for UPI payments. So, what’s new with this feature?

Until now, you would have linked your bank accounts with Google Pay for UPI transactions. Now, after saving the card onto Google Pay, you will have the dual option while making a payment – through the card as well as via UPI.

If I change my mobile phone, do I need to add the cards all over again on Google Pay?

Yes, if you change your mobile phone, all your cards would have to be added again since card tokens are device-specific and you would need to re-tokenise your cards on your new mobile phone.

If I lose my mobile phone, how do I deactivate the tokenised payment method linked with Google Pay?

The good news is that you can deactivate your Google Pay connected debit or credit card through the internet, from your Google account. Just login to your Google account and lock your mobile device with the android device manager. This will deactivate all your card tokens. Alternatively, to remove all your card tokens you can choose the wipe out (erase) the device option from the Google account linked with the lost mobile phone. This will remove the tokens saved on the mobile device. You can also call your issuer bank to disable the card tokens.

How can I opt out of tokenised payment method on Google Pay?

You need to de-register (remove) your cards saved from the Google Pay app. This will automatically disable all the tokenised card payment options for you. This includes tap and pay, QR scan-based payment and merchants payments using Google Pay.

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