Keep your payment info safe

How your card info stays safe

Learn how Google Pay helps keep your payment info safe, tips to avoid suspicious requests, and what to do if your phone is lost or stolen.

Info about your privacy

Google Pay & merchants

Participating merchants accept Google Pay for purchases of goods and services on websites and in apps. Google discloses to participating sites and apps whether or not you have Google Pay set up on your device. This is so merchants can know whether to offer you Google Pay as a payment option. You can opt out of Google making this disclosure in Google Pay privacy settings. Opting out can affect your ability to use Google Pay to transact with certain merchants.

Google Pay & your transaction data

Google may use data from Google Pay transactions that you make in stores or on third-party apps and websites to:

  • Facilitate your Google Pay transactions.
  • Show you your transaction details and transaction history.
  • Resolve a problem that you're having with Google Pay.
  • Provide you with other Google Pay features.

For more info, go to the Google Privacy Policy.

Help protect your payment info

Here are 4 ways that you can keep your payment info safer.

Data encryption

Encryption stores your data in a form that can be read only when your phone or tablet is unlocked. When you unlock your device, you decrypt your data. Encryption benefits include:

  • If your device is stolen, encryption can add protection.
  • On an encrypted device, most personal data is encrypted.

Many devices are encrypted by default. However, some devices may require you to turn on encryption in your device's settings.

To get the most protection for your data on an encrypted device, always require your PIN, pattern, or password to unlock your device when it starts.

Report unauthorized charges immediately

If you think there’s been fraud or unauthorized activity on your payments profile, report it within 120 days of the transaction date.

Tip: An unauthorized charge is a transaction that you believe was made fraudulently. If you’d like to dispute a payment made with your Google Pay balance or money sent to a friend, learn how to dispute a payment.

Identify & report fraudulent Google Pay messages

"Phishing" and "spoofing" are fraudulent attempts to access your personal info.

  • Phishing is when someone pretends to be someone else and asks you for personal info.
  • Spoofing is when someone fakes the identity of the email sender so it seems more trustworthy.

If you get a suspicious email, don’t respond with the info it asks for.

How to tell if an email is suspicious

Important: Google never asks you to send personal info like passwords, credit card numbers, or tax info through an email, text message, or phone call. If you get a message that says Google must verify your info, go directly to If Google needs to verify your info, in the top right, there’s an alert that you can select with instructions.

Step 1. Check what info it asks for

If someone requests personal financial details or other sensitive info on Google Pay, it’s a scam. Never share sensitive info via email or over the phone. Examples of sensitive info include:

  • Your passwords, passcodes, or password reset link
  • PINs (personal identification numbers)
  • Debit or credit card info
  • Bank info, like account numbers
  • Personal info, like address or Social Security Number

Google won't ask you to download an app to receive support or solve a problem.

If you're still not sure whether an email or message is suspicious, be careful and do not send money or personal info.

Step 2. Find the real sender of an email

  1. In Gmail, next to "Reply,” click More More and then Show original.
  2. Make sure the "From" address and the "Reply-to" address match.
  3. Check that the address on the "Message-id" also matches the "From" address domain.
  4. If you don't use Gmail, ask your email host for details on how to verify a sender.

Automatic security features

Here are a few ways Google Pay works to keep your info safer.

Built-in security

To help protect you from scams and fraud, Google Pay uses advanced, built-in security to better identify suspicious payments, including when you send or receive money.

Suspicious payment notification

If you try to pay someone outside your contact list, or receive a request for money from outside your contacts, Google Pay notifies you. That way, you can avoid the transaction if it’s suspicious.

Data protection

Your payment info and activity are stored securely with industry-leading encryption. To help protect you during transactions, Google Pay encrypts all of your payments.

Virtual account numbers

A virtual account number is a type of temporary alias for your actual account number. A virtual account number is created when you add a card using the Google Pay app, Google Wallet app, or your banking app. For example, when you pay in stores:

  • Your virtual account number is shared with the merchant.
  • Your actual account number isn't shared. This helps to keep your account info safe.

To locate the virtual account number:

  1. Open the Google Wallet app .
  2. At the top, tap the payment card you used for the purchase.
    • You may have to swipe from right to left to find it, then tap the card.
  3. At the bottom, tap Details and then Virtual account number.

Tip: If you don't find "Virtual account number," you must set up the payment card for in-store payments.

Screen lock

Before you add cards to the Google Pay app or for in-store payments, you must set up a screen lock on your device. If you turn off the screen lock, Google Pay removes your virtual account number from your device for your protection.

To make most purchases, you must unlock your phone.

Find & secure a lost device

Prepare your device in case of loss or theft

To prepare in case you lose your Android device, be ready to find a lost Android device.

What happens to my payment information in stolen devices?

What should I do if my device is lost or stolen?

  1. Follow the steps to find, lock, or erase your lost Android device.

    Tip: Erasing your device removes payment info, including credit and debit cards, from the device.

  2. If you suspect that your Google Account has been hacked, follow the steps to Secure a hacked or compromised Google Account.




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