Traveling Internationally? Pay With Your Smartphone
As the world beings to return to a type of normalcy following the COVID-19 pandemic, travel (especially international travel) is starting to pick up. Many people will be flying overseas for the first time in years, ready to see new sights and enjoy unique experiences. Those travels, however, will require money to be spent, something that has been a tricky situation in the past.
Traditionally, when going abroad, you need to alert your bank about your plans, so they don’t interpret your charges as fraudulent. You’ll also need to take out cash, which poses two issues: One, card skimmers abroad could steal your debit card’s information and use that data to make purchases; Two, it can be risky carrying too much cash on you, especially in crowded areas with trained pickpocketers.
Your smartphone, on the other hand, can solve many of those issues, so long as you use mobile pay. If you have an iPhone, you have access to Apple Pay, while Android users have Android Pay (or, if using a Samsung Device, Samsung Pay). Not only are mobile payments convenient, since you don’t need to take out your card or fiddle with cash, but it’s also way more secure than using a physical card for transactions.
When you pay with mobile pay, the card reader doesn’t actually see your mobile card’s information. Instead, it confirms with the manufacturer of your mobile pay that your card is legit: If this is Apple Pay, Apple would be able to confirm with the card reader that the card is working and legitimate. Then, the reader can tell the bank that everything looks to be in order, allowing the transaction to go through. No card information is shared, just the promise that the card on your phone is ready to go.
This process protects you from identity theft: The only way for thieves to steal your information is if they have access to your unlocked smartphone and view that information buried in settings. It also means you need to worry less about carrying cash on-hand. As for contacting the bank, that depends on your mobile payment: It’s worth still confirming with your card provider about your travels, to avoid running into any issues.
However, anytime a merchant abroad accepts mobile payment, you should consider using it.