How to Set Up NFC Payments with Android

When you are at the supermarket, at a restaurant or in any other commercial activity, you increasingly see people paying at the cash register with their smartphone or even with the smartwatch they have on their wrist. And you, who still take out the debit card from your wallet, if not cash, ask yourself: but how the hell do they do it? The answer is simpler than you think: they have configured NFC payments on their mobile devices.

In this guide we will explain step by step how to set up NFC payments with an Android smartphone, so that next time you go to the supermarket or another commercial store, you too will be able to pay with your mobile device.

NFC payments are a type of payment that occurs in contactless mode. They are based on Near Field Communication technology (you can find a detailed explanation in the article on how NFC works ), which is able to allow two devices, both equipped with NFC, to communicate with each other without contact and in a bi-directional way, as long as they are at a very close distance (maximum 10 cm).

Requirements for NFC payments with Android

To enable NFC payments on your Android smartphone you need a device that supports NFC technology , a smartphone payment app such as Google Pay, Samsung Pay or PayPal, plus a credit or debit card to add to your digital wallet.

Note : Even if you have a smartphone that is a few years old, that no longer updates, etc., you still have the possibility of using both NFC – which has been available on smartphones for some time now – and apps that support this technology. For example, for our test, we used the Motorola Moto G6 Plus updated to Android 9. The release date of this phone dates back to 2018.

Guide to setting up NFC payments with Android

Now it’s time to take action. Below we will explain how to proceed to set up NFC payments on Android devices .

Download and install Google Wallet

First of all, download and install Google Wallet, the application created by Big G that allows you to pay with your smartphone or smartwatch wherever Google Pay is accepted.

So open Google Play Store, search for “google wallet” , then press the “Install” button to start the download. The installation procedure is automatic: once finished, all you have to do is press “Open” .

Note : If you have a Samsung smartphone, no one is stopping you from using the Samsung Wallet app, although in light of the numerous negative reviews we recommend you prefer Google Wallet, the reference app for mobile payments in the Android universe.

Add a credit or debit card

The next step is to add a credit or debit card to Google Wallet .

To add a credit or debit card to Google Wallet, open the app and select “Add a card ,” then find “New credit or debit card” and tap the “Add to Wallet and Google Account” link .

In the new screen that opens, titled “Enter card details” , under “Card number” enter the numbers shown on the front of the payment card. Then also fill in the “MM/YY” fields with the expiration date and “CVC” , entering the three or four numbers shown on the back of the card. When finished, select “Save” at the bottom right to save the number.

To complete adding the card, all you have to do is press “Accept” to accept the issuer’s terms , i.e. the terms of use established by the bank to which the payment card is linked.

In some cases, the bank asks you to confirm your identity . There are two ways to verify: by sending a code via SMS to the default phone number or by contacting the bank. By default, the choice falls on “Send me a code via SMS” , then press “Continue” .

A new message will confirm the success of the operation.
In our test we received the following text message: “Your xxxx card has been successfully activated for Google Pay. You can now use it to pay with your device safely! Thank you” .

Set Google Pay as your default payment method

If you have already set up a payment method, the next step requires selecting Google Pay as the default app for NFC payments .
To set Google Pay as the default payment method, on the “Set Google Pay as default payment method” screen , simply press the “Use as default” button and then “Set” .

If you followed all the steps correctly, the “Wallet” screen will finally open with the newly added card highlighted.

Make sure NFC technology is turned on

Before making payments via NFC, always remember to check that NFC technology is correctly activated on your smartphone , so as to take advantage of the contactless payment method offered by Google Pay (or Samsung Pay if your preference has gone to the mobile payment app active by default on Samsung devices).

To check that the NFC option is active, open the Settings app, tap “Connected devices” , then go to “Connection preferences” and check that the switch next to “NFC” is moved to “ON” .


That’s it, now you’re all set to take advantage of NFC payments wherever they are accepted.
To pay via smartphone or smartwatch, all you have to do is unlock your device and bring it close to the POS for a few moments, until the transaction is completed.
Immediately after, you will receive a notification from Google Wallet with the payment amount and the name of the merchant.

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