Digital wallets are on the rise. More and more stores (Google claims millions) are accepting payment from mobile devices, and many customers have already made the switch. “Why?” you might ask, “What’s wrong with using my debit card, like I always have?.” Nothing is WRONG with it per se, but the bottom line is this: paying with your mobile device is safer.
When you pay with your phone, you don’t need to enter a pin, you don’t need to sign a receipt, you don’t need to hold on to the card reader to swipe or insert your card – you just wave your phone close to the payment terminal. You don’t need to touch anything, and nobody needs to touch your card.
You don’t share your card information
When you use Apple Pay or Google Pay, you’re not actually sharing your card details with the vendor. You are basically just confirming that your device is authorized to use your debit card to process the payment. The payment app then creates a single transaction token that allows banks to exchange money without sharing any personal information. And this is true when you make a purchase online as well. So if part of you was always worried about how safe it was to enter your card number on three different websites a day, mobile payment is the solution for you.
Safer is good. Convenient is even better.
The first-ever mobile payment app was Apple Pay and was initially released in 2014. Google Pay and Samsung Pay came out a year later. So it’s still pretty recent, and we probably haven’t seen all the potential of this new technology yet. But besides saving space in your purses and pockets, and avoiding the frantic search for your debit card under your couch, mobile payment apps already offer a few cool hacks:
- Subway commuters don’t need to worry about waiting 10 minutes to refill their MetroCard and missing their train – you can now use your phone to pay directly at the turnstile at many stations in Chicago, LA, Las Vegas, New York, Portland, and Washington.
- Apple Pay now allows you to send money to friends and family via text message.
Apple Pay and Google Pay are accepted everywhere you see this icon.