Paying with your mobile phone

A mobile payment is a payment you make using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. You can make a mobile payment in several different ways.

You can also use your mobile phone to make purchases through a merchant’s website or through your wireless provider. Examples of purchases through your wireless provider include downloading a ringtone or making a donation to a charity.

Contactless or tap payment

This type of mobile payment uses a technology called near-field communication, or NFC.

To make contactless payments, do the following:

  1. Download a payment app that stores your credit, debit or prepaid card information on your mobile device. The app may be from your financial institution or may be a mobile wallet
  2. Look for the Contactless Symbol on in-store payment terminals
  3. Launch your payment app
  4. Hold your mobile device close to the payment terminal until it processes the payment
  5. For some transactions, you may need to enter a password or scan your fingerprints

Depending on how you choose to pay, the payment app will then do one of the following:

Text message or email money transfer

Your financial institution’s online banking website may allow you to send money to another person with a Canadian bank account. A text or email alerts the person about the transfer.

You’ll need to know the person’s mobile phone number or email. You may also need to set up a security question they can answer.

If someone sends you a money transfer by text or email, follow the instructions to deposit the money into your account.

Your financial institution may call this an electronic transfer or Interac e-Transfer®. It may charge you a fee to send this type of transfer. There may be a limit on the amount of money you can send.

Your financial institution may allow you to register for Interac e-Transfer Autodeposit®. With this feature, the money is deposited directly into your account without the need to answer a security question. This can help protect you against email fraud.

Protecting yourself when using electronic transfers

When you send an electronic transfer, make sure to:

When you receive an electronic transfer:

Visit Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for a list of current scams.

If you have any questions or would like to know how your electronic transfers work, contact your financial institution.

Quick response payment

To make a Quick Response or QR code payment, display the QR code on your screen. The merchant will use its regular barcode scanner or another scanner to scan your QR code. A QR code consists of small black squares arranged in a pattern.

The QR code links to payment information you need to make a payment.

You may get the QR code from:

For example, you pay for coffee by showing the QR code linked to a gift card for that coffee shop.

In-app purchase

With in-app purchases, you use your mobile device to make a purchase from within an app. For example, you may buy extra content from a news app or extra features in a game. You pay for in-app purchases using the payment sources you saved to the app.

These payment sources may be a:

Risks of making mobile payments

Be alert for fraud when making mobile payments.

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices may expose you to identity fraud and fraud from malicious software, or “malware”.

Malware can access your data without your knowledge or consent. Financial malware specifically targets the financial sector. It allows hackers to capture information about your financial transactions. This may include your login information and account numbers.

Learn more about how to use your mobile device safely.

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