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Demystifying Digital Wallets

Hand holding a phone up to a card reader

What comes to mind when you think of a digital wallet? There are many confusing explanations out there, but we aim to ‘demystify’ digital wallets with this overview and give you a better understanding of how they are used.

What is a Digital Wallet?

A digital wallet (sometimes referred to as a mobile wallet) is a place to store your credit and debit card information and complete transactions. Digital wallets usually come in the form of an app that you can keep on your smartphone.

It replaces your physical cards and cash with an easy, safe, more secure, and private payment method — whether you’re in a store, online, or sending cash to friends or family.

How Does a Digital Wallet Work?

While there are several digital wallet options, your smartphone likely comes equipped with a digital payment solution, like Google Wallet for Androids or Apple Pay for iPhones.

Generally speaking, once you locate your payment app, it’s as simple as tapping Add a Card. You’ll choose the type of card(s) to add to the digital wallet and you’ll be prompted to authenticate the card.

When making a purchase in stores, look for the contactless payment symbol on the payment terminal. If you’re not sure, just ask. When ready to pay, place the backside of your phone over the terminal. Depending on your phone type, you may have to double tap the power button on the right side of the phone to trigger payment. You’ll see a checkmark on your screen to confirm the transaction is complete.

Shopping online is very simple.  At checkout, look for the logos for your digital wallet brand and select that as your method of payment and proceed as usual.

Benefits of Digital Wallets

There are many benefits to digital wallets, including:

  • Contactless payment. It’s safer than touching terminals and exchanging cash.

  • All forms of payment can be kept in one place. This prevents the burden of carrying a full wallet around. If it’s on your phone, it is one less item to worry about losing.

  • You can store more than just currency. You can load tickets for events, boarding passes or even bus passes in your digital wallet.

  • Security is built in. Digital wallets tap in to the hardware and software of your device, which are designed to help protect your personal information. Your data is heavily encoded — so much so that if a retailer gets hacked, your credit or debit card number won’t be compromised.

No matter which digital wallet you choose, it’s a convenient way to pay with your Horizon Bank Mastercard Debit Card via your smartphone, tablet or watch. For more information, click here.

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