Updated June 11, 2021
Thanks to contactless technology, you can make credit and debit card purchases using your smartphone (and even some Apple and Android watches!).* This technology has been in use since 2013, and has proven to be both secure and practical.
How does it work?
Start by adding a card. The procedure is nearly the same for Apple and Android devices:
- Apple: Open Wallet (a default application that’s already installed on your phone). Android: Download Google Pay (available on Google Play) and open the app
- Add your Desjardins Visa, Mastercard or Access card: take a picture with your phone or enter the information manually
- You’ll be asked to confirm the information, and you’re done!
You can add multiple cards, but one will be set as your default. If you want to use a different card, just select it before making your payment. You can change your default card at any time.
To make a payment, hold your phone near the terminal. It’s that easy! You can now make purchases without your card.
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And it’s supposed to be secure?
The first thing you should know is that this technology is only available for purchases up to $250.
And unlike payments made using your card, you don’t need a PIN, which means that you eliminate the risk of PIN fraud. You’re also protected because you have to confirm your transaction using the same method you use to unlock your phone (fingerprint, digital code or facial recognition).
Neither Apple Pay nor Google Pays sends your personal information or card number when you make a payment. They simply generate a unique code that is encrypted and anonymized, which makes it almost impossible to pirate—in fact, not one case of pirating has ever been reported for this payment method!
Am I protected?
As secure as the system is, nothing is infallible. That’s why financial institutions generally offer protection plans, such as the Zero Liability plan from Desjardins, which protects you against fraudulent transactions made using your card. This coverage also applies to all contactless transactions performed using your card.
Can I use this technology everywhere?
Not yet, but this payment method is becoming more popular and most new terminals have the technology. Check for the contactless symbol or the Apple Pay/Google Pay symbol on the payment terminal.
*To use this payment method, your phone needs an NFC chip (Near Field Communication), or a proximity card. These enable two devices that are near each other to communicate over short distances using radio waves. Most phones produced since 2014 are equipped with a chip or card.