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5 cash-free ways to pay that are worth sorting out as a student

And why you may never need to queue at an ATM ever again.

shutterstock_507980077 Shutterstock / chartphoto Shutterstock / chartphoto / chartphoto

LET’S BE HONEST, there’s a reason why we associate student life with diets comprised almost exclusively of instant noodles, chicken fillet rolls and a few occasional cut-price cans of questionably branded beer.

At a time when the importance of getting through exams and somehow making your rent is paramount, cash isn’t exactly free-flowing.

Whether your account is looking a little sad or your wallet went walkabout during a not-so-memorable mystery tour, there are easier ways to pay than queueing at ATMs and carrying piles of change.

These five payment methods aren’t exactly rocket science but sorting them out now will prevent so much stress during your time in college.

1. Pay without touching your wallet

shutterstock_395006542 Shutterstock / Kite_rin Shutterstock / Kite_rin / Kite_rin

Whether you’re out for a run when you’ve gotten the grim ‘we’re out of toilet paper’ text from your housemates or you’ve already ordered a burrito when you realise your wallet is nowhere to be found, there’s no need to sprint home for your wallet.

Luckily, now you can now add your debit card to your ‘digital wallet’ on your phone, through the technological magic that is Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Once it’s set up (by scanning your card), you can hover your phone over any payment machine with the contactless symbol.

Handy for: Lunches and coffees, emergency grocery purchases.

2. No cash? Just tap your card

shutterstock_509222029 Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images / Monkey Business Images

It’s time to face facts here – cash in a wallet will always find a use for itself and never be there when you actually badly need it.

Although it’s not a particularly new technology, by supporting contactless payment facilities, it sends the all-important message to retailers that we need cash-free alternatives that equal less time queuing at an ATM or feeling stuck when without cash.

Avoid the embarrassment of paying for your life-or-death Monday morning coffee with your leftover coppers and just tap your debit card on the card machine instead. Most importantly, make sure your bank isn’t charging you any extra for it.

Handy for: Drinks in busy bars, buying items under €30.

3. Transfer cash using a mobile number

shutterstock_493896952 Shutterstock / Pressmaster Shutterstock / Pressmaster / Pressmaster

Ever been at a class dinner where the waiter absolutely insists that you can’t split the bill? (Despite having no issue for the group of business people in the corner?)

By adding your debit card to an app like Circle, all you’ll need is a mobile number to transfer money to your poor classmate that got shafted to pay for everyone’s food.

Handy for: Group project costs, paying back for birthday presents and trips away.

4. Buy worldwide with just an email and password

shutterstock_571340965 Shutterstock / Kamil Macniak Shutterstock / Kamil Macniak / Kamil Macniak

It’s already got around 210 million active accounts worldwide – using your debit card to register with PayPal is a more secure way of paying than placing your account details in the hands of a variety of different, possibly insecure payment systems online.

By using your debit card to set up a PayPal account, you can simply log in on hundreds of sites including Book Depository and eBay (great for finding weirdly obtuse books on your lecturers’ reading lists) and pay directly from there.

PayPal also offers a purchase protection scheme that may help you get a refund if anything you order shows up different than described or doesn’t show up at all.

Handy for: Buying clothes, books or concert tickets online.

5. Never owe your parents/pals money again

shutterstock_305360981 Shutterstock / Photographee.eu Shutterstock / Photographee.eu / Photographee.eu

This might seem like an obvious suggestion, but it’s not something that everyone takes the time out to get set up – yet it can save so much time and simplifying things when you owe someone money.

If you’ve been forced to take a pretty hefty loan from the Bank of Mum and Dad, this one will be particularly handy for you for transferring small amounts whenever you are in a position to do so.

Get a hold of their IBAN and set them up as a payee in your mobile banking app so that you can transfer cash easily to them. This one’s also really useful if you’re planning a trip with your best friends and will end up booking accommodation or activities on one card.

Handy for: Dinner with good friends, costs while on or organising holidays.

All of these very handy payment options will be available to you with a KBC Student Account. Find out how you could get €100 cash free by opening an account today with KBC hereTerms and Conditions apply. For details on device compatibility for Android Pay, visit kbc.ie. Android Pay is a trademark of Google Inc. KBC Bank Ireland plc is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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