The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

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March 20, 2023

Apple and Google Pay both use near-field communication technology (NFC) to transfer payment information between a device and payment terminal. NFC is a subset of radio-frequency identification (RFID), which uses radio waves to identify things.

To be used, NFC requires verification. Apple Pay enables this using Touch ID and Face ID, while Google Pay requires a pin pattern. It also requires the device to be within two inches of the reader, thus the title “near-field.”

Adults who use cash by Elizabeth Cruz

With the number of customers becoming reliant on touchless payment methods increasing, businesses are adapting to the trend.

Various retailers provide options for contactless payment: on pin pads in-store using modern readers such as Square and Shopify, or through online ordering compatible with Paypal and Venmo.

Teenagers are one of the leading age groups using mobile payments. Delfina Bianchi, a junior at Carlmont High School, relies on Apple Pay for the majority of her transactions.

“I never bring cash with me because I’d much rather carry around my phone than worry about carrying around credit cards and cash. It’s much quicker, and it’s easier access to money,” Bianchi said.

In particular, the trend of touchless payments continued to grow when COVID-19 hit. Many became more conscious of the germs transferred through cash and numerous businesses stopped accepting it. Now, several stores only allow cards or contactless payments.

According to Pew Research Center, about four-in-ten Americans say none of their purchases in a typical week are paid for using cash. Additionally, some think this statistic should be higher. 

“Cash is harder to find and most people carry their phones on them, which means that they can pay more easily,” Bianchi said.

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