HOME SWEET HOME: What you need to know about mobile wallets


HOME SWEET HOME: What you need to know about mobile wallets

Gone are the times when you had one wallet clip with a credit card, ID, and business card, at least for most of us.

With the way the world has technologically turned, its hard to keep a finger on all your passwords, receipts, membership cards and coupons. One application that has simplified this headache is the mobile wallet.

Mobile wallets can be used on a smartphone, tablet or smartwatch. All of your cards and information is stored in a clean, digital space. They allow you to make purchases, apply discounts and use coupons without having to rummage through your real wallet.

According to reports, only 19% of consumers regularly use mobile pay.

Although debit card scammers and frauds are a reality, State Farm agent, Ed Underwood says he hasn’t received a scam or theft claim in more than 20 years. He advises to hold onto your physical cards and cash, even if you do choose to go the mobile route. If a scam does occur, he said State Farm can offer “coverage on a homeowner policy for credit card theft.”

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Mobile wallets refer to two types of payments. Proximity wallets can be used at a physical location by hovering the phone over a reader. Remote wallets give you the ability to send money to someone else electronically. For instance, if you go to lunch with friends and pick up the tab, they can pay you back through that type of transfer.

Pay attention to security. Now this is an important one. Mobile wallets CAN be more secure than credit cards with a magnetic strip because their data is encrypted. Obviously, your phone can be stolen just as a credit card or wallet would be. Making sure to have double security on your phone is very important. Have a password to enter the home screen of your phone and another password to gain access to your mobile wallet.

Make sure you have fraud protection. You may want to consider linking your mobile wallet to a credit card rather than a debit card or paying through your phone bill. Most likely, you will receive the same protections as you would with a credit card. And this way, you can easily dispute fraudulent charges.

You still need cash. Even though retailers all over the world now accept mobile pay, there are places that still do not. You should still carry cash or a credit card just in case.

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