Mobile Wallets: Everything You Need to Know

You’re heading out the door and either you forget your wallet, or you simply don’t want to carry it around with you. No problem.  

Hello, mobile wallet. 

What is a mobile wallet? 

A mobile wallet is an app that holds your credit card and debit card information so you can make purchases and transfers through your phone, computer or smartwatch without ever pulling out your cards.  

A mobile wallet can be used to make bill payments as well as in-store or online purchases. 

For example, Elevations Visa® credit and debit cards work with commonly used mobile wallets. Some widely used mobile wallet apps include Apple Pay®, G Pay/Google PayTM, Samsung Pay®, Garmin Pay TM, FitBit Pay TM and Visa Checkout.  

Three advantages of using mobile wallets 

1. Security: Mobile wallets use an encrypted token (a random sequence of numbers) during payments. If hacked, that sequence of numbers is useless to the hacker. Features on physical credit cards like the magnetic stripe, tap-to-pay functionality and chip readers, on the other hand, transmit your card data, making it easier for a hacker to steal and use.  

So, what if your phone gets stolen? Logging in to use your mobile wallet requires authentication — whether it’s facial recognition, a fingerprint, a PIN or another method you’ve selected. This makes it very difficult for a thief to access the app.  

Apple, Samsung, and Google let you remotely wipe your data from your devices if your smartphone, laptop or tablet are stolen. This is a beneficial security feature. Members are encouraged to enable all security features, use a strong password and beware of phishing attacks. 

Those who don’t have a contactless or tap-to-pay card can load their card into a mobile wallet and use the device for contactless accessibility.   

Bottom line: If you’re not carrying your physical cards around, they are less likely to get lost or stolen.  

2. Convenience: You can say “goodbye” to a wallet or purse when you shop at many in-person retailers if you’re using a mobile wallet on your phone or watch. This is especially handy if you decide to stop for refreshments on your morning run or want to travel light while sightseeing on vacation. 

Many online retail sites also support mobile wallets. Instead of taking that extra step to search for your credit card and enter information, you can check out by simply clicking on the mobile wallet icon during the checkout process. 

And, since members’ cards are fully linked to their accounts, all their reward points are still earned with every purchase made with Visa Rewards, Visa Signature and Business Rewards cards.  

3. Contactless: Everyone is more mindful of spreading germs these days. Choosing to embrace a mobile wallet means fewer physical interactions with in-person cashiers. 

To use a mobile wallet at a cash register, simply place your phone in front of the credit card terminal when prompted to transmit the encrypted data. That means you won’t need to press buttons or physically hand a card to the cashier. 

man twists wrist to use smart phone mobile wallet to pay in a small store

How to add your credit or debit card to a mobile wallet 

This process takes just a few minutes. Go to your device’s app store and download the app of the wallet you prefer. Then, open the app and follow the prompts for set up. 

Here are a few quick links to the most popular mobile wallet options: 

Apple Pay®  

G Pay (Google PayTM)   

Samsung Pay®  

Garmin Pay TM  

Fitbit Pay TM  

Visa Checkout® 

(Note: If you have an iPhone, Apple Wallet is already installed.)  

Then, start using the app to pay wherever you see a mobile wallet logo. If you need help adding your Elevations credit or debit card to a mobile wallet, give us a call or chat with us in our online banking secure chat. We’ll walk you through the process step by step.  

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