Mobile payments have grown in popularity the past year and have brought on a new set of payment terminologies that may be unfamiliar to most. As mobile payments continue to become more prevalent, it is important to understand the buzzwords that are used when talking about mobile payments.


To have a better idea of what mobile payments are, here are some of the key phrases used:


Android Pay: One of the leading mobile wallets that was released in September of 2015. It is available on any Android smartphone that runs Android 4.4 KitKat or newer.


Apple Pay®: The first leading mobile wallet that was released in October of 2014. Currently, Apple Pay is only wallet available for the iPhone 7, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, Apple Watch (paired with the iPhone5 or later), and iPad (for online shopping only).


Contactless Payments: Payment transactions that do not require physical contact between the terminal and the consumer payment device. To complete a contactless payment transaction, the consumer will hold the contactless device, (such as a smartphone), near the terminal and the payment information is communicated wirelessly.


EMV: Stands for Europay, MasterCard, Visa. EMV is a fraud-reducing technology helped to protect issuers, merchants, and consumers against losses from the use of counterfeit or stolen payment cards at the point-of-sale.


Encryption: Process of encoding or scrambling data that can only be read by authorized programs or by those that have a decryption key.


Loyalty Program: Process of offering incentives for the use of a specific card. Many retail and restaurants use loyalty programs to attract new and returning customers.


Merchant: The retailer or business that accepts payments from customers in exchange for services and/or goods.


Mobile Payments: Process of a point-of-sale transaction processed through a mobile device.


Mobile Wallet: A digital wallet that carries your credit/debit card information on your mobile device. Users can pay with their smartphone, watch, or tablet instead of using a physical card.


mPOS: A mobile point-of-sale device that replaces a traditional point-of-sale system.


Near Field Communication (NFC): A method of contactless communication and data exchange between electronic devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to other devices such as credit card terminals. Merchants can easily accept all mobile wallets with an NFC-enabled terminal.


PCI: Stands for Payment Card Industry. All merchants who accept mobile payments must observe the guidelines in the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council’s (PCI-SSC) data standards. These standards are set to help protect cardholder data and sensitive information in addition to eliminating security exposures.


POS: Stands for “Point-of-Sale.” A hardware device that functions as a cash register that can process debit/credit cards, track customer orders, and connect to other systems within a network.


Samsung Pay: One of the leading mobile wallets that was released in September of 2015. It is available on the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+, Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 active, and the Samsung Galaxy Note5.


Tokenization: Process of replacing a credit or debit card number with a valued “token.” Tokenization takes personal information, such as the primary account number, and replaces it with non-sensitive data, such as symbols, letters, or any other random sequence of tokens.


By learning the above key terms, you will have a better understanding of mobile payments and the common phrases associated with it.