Technology to serve our payments
Recent new technologies in financial services (known as fintech) allow making several payment transactions directly with our smartphone, without the need to carry cash or credit cards. Here are a few examples:
- Using our smartphone to pay in shops: we need to download our bank’s mobile app and select the card or account we want to pay with. We will be able to pay our purchases just by approaching our smartphone to a contactless point-of-sale (POS) terminal and entering our PIN (for purchases over 20 Euros).
- Making and receiving instant payments with our smartphone: once we’ve downloaded the corresponding mobile app and selected the credit card or account we want to use, all we have to do now is either type in the phone number of whoever we want to pay, or select it from our phone’s contacts list (knowing their bank account number isn’t necessary). The money will be transferred instantly from one account to the other. Most Spanish banks use the bizum technology platform to perform these instant transactions. However, other credit institutions are also implementing similar initiatives.
- Withdrawing cash from an ATM without using our card: we have to select the bank account we want to withdraw money from in our bank’s mobile app, and then we’ll type in the phone number of whoever we want to send the money to (anybody who you would like to send money to, or even ourselves). The selected phone number will then receive an SMS containing a code. By typing this code at an ATM we will be able to withdraw the money.
- Other transactions like blocking or unblocking our cards, or checking the balance and transactions on our account or card: it can all be done using our bank’s mobile app, which we will have to download on our smartphone.
New technologies can make our life much easier helping us manage and perform payment transactions using mobile apps on our smartphone. However, we mustn’t forget that these apps are linked to our account or credit card and that, even though we don’t physically see them, we can still be charged with fees, interests or other debts we will have to end up paying, or have our account overdrawn.