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Smart pay is the term given to the technology that lets you pay for transactions using your smartphone, Fitbit, Apple Watch or any other wearable.

Basically, smart pay is smart because it’s contactless, mobile and doesn’t require cards to work. It can be performed from a growing number of electronic devices, almost anywhere and at any time.

One of the outstanding features of smart pay is that doesn’t require you to log in to your bank account via your device to complete transactions.

Nor do you need to pull out a card from your wallet every time you want to buy something using EFTPOS or to pay a bill.

And being supported by your device’s latest security features means that your transactions – and thus your money – is better protected against fraud or theft.

Types of smart pay available include Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Mobile Pay, Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay. It’s a list that just keeps growing.

How does smart pay work?

Smart pay works in association with supported debit cards from participating banks, credit unions and other financial institutions, and can be used wherever contactless payments are accepted.

Using the relevant app for your device, you can add as many of your bank accounts as you want. When making purchases you simply choose which account you want to use for that transaction.

Your device can then be used for transactions at contactless terminals. As is the case with tap and pay using a card, some payments over $100 may require you to enter your card PIN at the terminal.

Smart pay creates a tidy banking workspace on your device, and solves the problem of having multiple banking apps, or carrying around different debit cards for different accounts.

Smart pay allows you to centralise your banking in one app, and lets you make quick contactless transactions on the go, which is why some people find it so convenient.

How do I use smart pay?

To use smart pay, all you need is a compatible device and an eligible card. Some devices have a preloaded app or one that can be acquired from either Google Play or Apple’s App Store.  

Instructions on how to set up smart pay are available on most banking websites offering this method of payment. Otherwise, this information could be found via the maker of your device.  

Whether or not you can use smart pay will depend on your device and its operating system. Your bank or your device will let you know when you attempt to set it up.  

If you want smart pay with more than one device, such as your smartphone and Fitbit for example, you would need to individually add the app and bank account details to each device.


​Nick Bendel is a senior property and personal finance writer for RateCity, and an experienced journalist with numerous writing credits to his name. To date. He covers property, home loans, credit cards, superannuation and other bank products, and loves getting elbow-deep in the latest ABS, APRA and RBA data.​


FAQs

You can close a bank account with pending transactions. But after the account is closed, any incoming transactions will be declined by your (old) bank.

The best way to ensure this doesn’t occur is to either wait to close your account until all pending transactions are complete, or contact the creditor and supply them with alternate bank details.

If you’re unsure whether you have any scheduled transactions, you can speak to a banking representative over the phone or via online support.

In most cases, your bank withholds the amount owing for pending transactions (such as online purchases).

Because the pending amount is deducted from your bank balance, you can close your bank account and the purchase will be honoured.

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^Words such as "top", "best", "cheapest" or "lowest" are not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of products from selected providers and not all products or providers are included in the comparison. There is no such thing as a 'one- size-fits-all' financial product. The best loan, credit card, superannuation account or bank account for you might not be the best choice for someone else. Before selecting any financial product you should read the fine print carefully, including the product disclosure statement, fact sheet or terms and conditions document and obtain professional financial advice on whether a product is right for you and your finances.

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