Phone payment technology: how it works and is it secure?

Phone payment technology: how it works and is it secure?

Smartphones are now a fundamental part of most people’s lives. They take our photos, help us catch a train on time and tell us when it’s going to rain. Now, they even pay for things.

Phone payment options have been launched by major banks around the country and are rapidly evolving to become more and more convenient.

For many people, the main barrier to ditching the wallet in favour of this technology was concerns around security, but with more stringent checks and balances than credit cards, security is fast-disappearing as a roadblock for many Australians.

What are phone payments?

The phone payment process initially involved a small PayTag chip that had to be attached to phones and used in the same way as a debit card PayPass function. You could tap and go for purchases under $100 dollars using the chip which directly accessed your transaction accounts.

Now, for many phone users, the process is far more high-tech. Android phones enabled with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology can now tap without a chip, although purchases over $100 will still require your pin number.

How secure is it?

Late-technology adopters will probably still liken the safety of such systems to posting their credit card details on an online forum, but the reality is, these security measures are in place to protect your funds. Pin passwords protect the tap and go function from being opened by anyone without the code and some apps also allow your fingerprint to be added as a further security measure.

Having a passcode on your smartphone to begin with is also yet another way of protecting your money. The more complex the better so steer clear of the commonly occurring 1234 and 0000 combinations.

Apart from these smartphone specific security measures, all your bank’s standard protections should apply. These include usual policies for counterfeit and fraudulent transactions that generally involve a refund for purchases not made with your permission.

As well as this, losing your phone has become much like losing your credit card in that with one call to your bank, you can cancel all further transactions and access from your phone.

To check your bank’s Mobile Pay security policies in depth visit their website so you have a good idea of the protections available.

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What are the benefits?

The major selling point of the technology is that you don’t have to worry about forgetting or losing your wallet.  These days, most people never leave their smartphone out of reach so the chances of you not having your phone on you in a store are low. Of course this could lead to more impulse purchasing, depending on what kind of shopper you are, but the convenience is undeniable.

You can even use your phone to withdraw cash in emergency situations with banks such as ANZ allowing you to make withdrawals at certain Mobile Pay enabled ATMs. Cardless withdrawals can also be made at ATMs if you are with certain banks, such as Westpac, by simply getting a code from your app and entering it in the ATM.

Essentially your phone can now do everything your card can and is just as secure. In fact your phone can actually one up your card because you can have multiple card details and access on one phone.

While the access you have to these different technologies will vary depending on which bank you are with it’s something to keep in mind when evaluating your transaction account. If you want access to these smartphone perks you may need to consider switching banks to one with phone payment options.

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Learn more about bank accounts

How can I deposit cash into my bank account?

The traditional way to deposit cash into your bank account is to go to a branch and give it to a teller. These days, many banks will allow you to make deposits through an ATM as well.

Can I close my bank account over the phone?

In most cases, you can close a personal or business bank account over the phone. In fact, this is the best way to ensure you’ve closed an account properly.

By speaking to a banking representative, you can capture and close out any pending transactions, or interest owing/payable on the account being closed.

In the instance where the account is a joint account, or you have multiple bank accounts you want to close, your bank may send you a form that you need to fill out and return.

Either way, you would be advised over the phone of the steps you need to take. Calling your bank ahead of closing an account is often a smart course of action.

How do you open a bank account in Australia?

Opening a bank account in Australia is usually a straightforward process. Some banks give you the option of opening an account online, while others require you to visit a branch.

Different bank accounts offer different features, so it’s best to compare your options to find one that suits you.

All banks require you to pass an identity check to open a bank account. Australia uses the 100-point identification system, which means you’ll need to show a number of forms of ID that, together, add up to 100 points.

Common ID types include a driver’s licence, passport, Australian visa in a foreign passport, and Australian Medicare card. You’ll find out what types of ID are accepted when you go through the sign-up process online or at a branch.

Once your account is open, you’ll be given or sent a debit card that you can use to make purchases and withdraw money from your account.

How do you delete your bank account from PayPal?

Deleting your bank account from PayPal is a simple three-step process:

  • Go to your Wallet
  • Choose the account you’d like to delete
  • Click ‘Remove bank account’

How can you cash a cheque without a bank account?

You can cash a cheque without a bank account if you visit the bank that issued the cheque. For example, if somebody sends you a cheque from Bank X (as written on the cheque) and you visit Bank X, it’s likely that Bank X will let you cash the cheque – provided the person who wrote the cheque has enough money in their account. Bank X would probably charge you a fee for the service.

Can foreigners open bank account in Australia?

If you’re migrating, studying or working in Australia, you’ll be pleased to know that you can open an Australian bank account. For the most part, opening a bank account in Australia is a simple process which starts by comparing the types of bank accounts foreigners can open in Australia.

Once you’ve found a bank account that suits your needs, you can start the application process.

When you apply for the account, you’ll need to provide proof of ID which may include your passport, overseas ID or credit card. You may also need to provide a copy of your visa and proof of address in Australia.

Depending on the bank and the type of account you choose, you may be able to apply for the account online or over the phone before you arrive in Australia.

Can I open bank accounts for my children?

A common question for new parents is, ‘Can I open a bank account for my child?’

The short answer is yes – as a parent you can open a bank account for your child.

Once you’ve compared your options and found a bank account that suits your needs, the process is relatively simple.

As the bank account is for your child, you’ll need to provide some documentation such as proof of ID, including your tax file number.

You will also need a copy of your child’s birth certificate, and in some cases you may also need to sign a guarantee of indemnity.

Depending on the bank and whether you’re an existing customer, you may be able to open a bank account for your child online. However, you may still need to go into a branch to prove your identity.

How to transfer money to another bank account

Transferring money to another bank is often called a bank transfer, and it can be done a few different ways.

Customers generally need three pieces of information to transfer money to another bank account. Customers need the account name, BSB and account number of the account they wish to transfer money to.

One way of transferring money to another bank account is in a branch with the help of a staff member; they will often give you a receipt as well as confirmation of the transfer.

Transfers can be also made via internet banking and phone banking.

Some banks also allow customers to make transfers via partnered ATMs, especially if the account is with the same bank.

How do you change your account name on NAB banking?

Changing the name on your NAB bank account is straightforward, as long as you have the right documents.

If you’ve just got married, divorced or legally changed your name, here’s what you need:

  • Married – a marriage certificate
  • Divorced –your ‘decree nisi’
  • Legal name change –your legal name change certificate

You can take either the original document, or a certified copy, into a NAB branch, where it needs to be sighted by a bank employee and a copy taken.

Your NAB bank account name will be updated immediately. New debit, ATM and credit cards with your updated name will also need to be issued. These usually take between five to 10 working days to be posted out to you. Your existing cards will keep working until you activate your new ones.

If you haven’t legally changed your name, but just want to change your account nicknames, you can log onto NAB and do it through the Settings/Mailbox menu.

Can foreigners open bank accounts in Australia?

Many Australian lenders allow foreigners to open bank accounts in Australia. Often, this can be done before you arrive in the country – with no Australian address required. When you get to Australia, you can pick up your debit card, using your passport as identification.

How do you deposit change into your bank account?

One way to deposit change into your bank account is to visit a branch. Many lenders will also allow you to deposit your change through one of their ATMs.

Can Centrelink access your bank account?

Yes, Centrelink can access your bank account, but only if you give them a reason to. Centrelink uses data-matching software with other federal government agencies to help it crack down on welfare cheats.

This is why it’s important to give true and matching information to all government agencies.

For example, if you report to Centrelink your annual income is $25,000, but at tax time you report your income as $50,000 with the ATO, it’s likely you’ll be ‘red flagged’.

At this point, Centrelink can legally request that your bank hand over your personal bank account details, to review your finances.

In most cases, Centrelink does not have the authority to take money out of your account. You will usually be given written notice to repay the debt.

However, Centrelink can also reduce your benefits until you’ve paid back what you owe. In extreme cases, Centrelink can garnish your wages and assets (including money in your bank account) until your debt is repaid.

How can I check my bank account balance online?

Checking your bank account balance online is a simple process. Once you’ve logged in to your online banking, clock on the relevant account and the balance should be visible.

Can British expats still open bank accounts?

As a British expat, you can open an Australian bank account, and you can apply for an account the same ways an Aussie would. You can even open an account online from the UK prior to relocating.

If you’re overseas, the bank you choose to open an account with may call you to provide you with our new account details beforehand. You can then have your ID verified within a branch once you’ve arrived.

And if you’re already living down under, the following list outlines the types of information required by most banks when opening an Australian bank account.

  • Australian residential address
  • Tax file number (TFN) or a TFN exemption
  • Identification (this can be your passport)