How Google Pay works to pay directly with your phone

How Google Pay works to pay directly with your phone

Learn how to set up a Google Pay account and how to use it to pay for things right from your phone.

If you're tired of keeping track of your wallet or sifting through it for the correct card, or maybe you've forgotten your wallet at home too many times during the checkout line, Google Pay may be a better option for you.

Google Pay is a secure way to manage your cards, send money to friends, pay bills, and pay for groceries at the checkout. Setup is simple and there are many ways to leverage your digital wallet on your Android phone. So let's see how to use Google Pay.

What is Google Pay?

In its simplest form, Google Pay is a wallet in which you store your cards. However, it is capable of much more. With Google Pay, you can use your Android phone to coordinate group payments and track your expenses.

After logging into the app with your Google account, you can add cards or link your bank. Once your Google Pay account has access to the funds, you can open the app to a register and tap the card reader to pay with one of the cards in your GPay wallet.

How does Google Pay work?

Instead of having to manually enter specific cards when checking out on a website, GPay will allow you to choose from your payment options at will and means you don't have to store them all on the websites themselves.

When using the phone in a cash register, the designated default card will be used. When prompted to enter the payment method, simply hold the phone close to the terminal. Using (Near Field Communication), the terminal will request payment information from your phone and GPay will provide your phone with the selected payment method.

It's just like swiping a card or scanning a chip, only the data is transmitted from the phone instead of the card.

How to set up Google Pay on Android

Setting up Google Pay on an Android device is exceptionally easy. However, there are actually two versions of Google Pay and the one you use depends on your country of residence.

The new Google Pay app

The latest version of Google Pay was launched in March 2021 and, at the time of writing, is only available in the US, India and Singapore. On most devices, you will need to download the app separately. This could leave you with two Pay app icons on older phones that already had the old app pre-installed. You can disable the old version of the app to hide it.

For this guide, we'll set up the new app, although the basic instructions should be similar for the old app as well.

Download:  (free)

The old Google Pay app

In other countries, you may have the older version of Google Pay, which is a simple card manager that you can use to pay online or in-store. This app often comes pre-installed on Android devices, especially Google devices, such as the Pixel series. Google has provided a list of.

If this version still works where you are, update it in the Store or download it if you don't already have it.


Install the new Google Pay

Let's now examine the installation process. Next, we'll talk about what you can do with Google Pay and some unique features you may have enabled during setup.

  • Upon opening the app, you will be asked to log into your Google account and provide your phone number. This is required to set up the phone as a Google Pay device.
  • The next step is a set of privacy preferences. You can choose to enable these features now, but they are not mandatory and you can always change them later from the settings menu. These settings include: being found by friends, opting for cashback rewards, and sharing activity data with Google. We will discuss this in detail below.

After configuring your privacy settings, you will be asked to set up contactless payment. You don't have to do this right now, but to do it, simply tap on the message at the top of the screen and enter your card details. This card will be used upon checkout at the store.

Google Pay Privacy

Just before entering your contactless payment card details, you were asked to decide on three privacy preferences. Regardless of whether you've joined or not, you should know what they do and how they benefit you.

  • First, you were asked if you would like your friends to find you. If you've enabled it, your friends and contacts have likely been notified that your Google Pay account has been created, if they're also in the app. This makes it easier for them to connect with you on the app. When notified, they don't have to look for you to split the lunch bill or send you the five dollars they owe you. They simply tap their notification to connect with you instantly.
  • Then there were the cashback rewards. To be eligible, Google Pay must collect information about your payments. This information pertains to the third parties involved, such as the card issuing bank and the businesses you are spending money on, to provide you with refund opportunities at your favorite stores.
  • Finally, Google wanted to know if you would share some data with them. By saving this data, they are essentially personalizing your experience. They will evaluate where you shop, what type of card you use and where you are, to offer you personalized offers. This data will not be used for other Google services.

All of these options are designed to optimize your experience. They aim to make connecting with friends easier by providing you with offers and refund opportunities based on your spending habits.

How to use Google Pay

Now that you're signed in and ready to start using Google Pay, it's time to add some payment methods. Then, you can use GPay to pay in-store and online.

Adding cards and using NFC

Adding cards and wallet swiping are terribly similar in both versions of the Google Pay app.

  • To add cards to your Google Pay wallet, tap the message at the top of the screen in the app's main menu. It should say Set up contactless payment or you can tap the icon instead Paga contactless .
  • Now touch Add a card to manually enter your card details or take a photo of your card. Once the first card is added, it will be the default. If you add more cards, you will need to choose which card you prefer as the default.
  • You are ready to scan your phone to pay lines using NFC.

By swiping left or right from your home page, you will be shown your offers and shopping activities respectively. This way you can keep track of cashback rewards and discounts, as well as keep track of where and how you are spending your money.

Pay online with Google Pay

Using Google Pay online is just as simple as long as the website you are on supports it. When you go to the shopping cart of any website you are browsing, the payment button may be accompanied by other payment methods - PayPal and Google Pay are some of the most common. Just tap that button and a GPay overlay will appear.

This will show you the email, address and default card (which you can change here) of your Google Pay account. All you have to do is touch Pay to confirm and the transaction will be processed.

Other features of Google Pay

Some other features available to you include Relationships, where GPay focuses on the people and activities you interact with most regularly. There are also, as we have mentioned, cashback offers. We've already discussed the emphasis on relationship-based tracking, as well as some ways GPay intends to save you money.

Another feature of the new version of Google Pay is the ability to create a group invoice with friends. This will take an account and divide it among the group members and keep track of who paid their share until the total is used up.

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