Chances are, you know someone who has paid for a meal or some other purchase with their phone via a digital wallet. This may have left you wondering what this was all about and whether or not it was worth the time and effort to sign up for such a service. The following article will dive into all the details of digital wallets to help you answer the question of whether or not a digital wallet is right for you.
Digital Wallet Background
For those who don’t know, a digital wallet is an application, usually on your phone that stores all the information needed to make a payment. You connect your credit card/bank information to the app and then can use the app to make a purchase right from your phone. Digital wallets also give you the ability to store and use coupons as well. Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and PayPal are a few of the most popular digital wallets out now.
Benefits of Digital Wallets
The ability to make a quick and convenient purchase is one of the biggest benefits of a digital wallet according to Dom at DomsTechBlog.com. Using a digital wallet is quick and requires nothing more than your phone.
Another benefit of using a digital wallet is that it provides another level of security between you and your credit card/bank. With a digital wallet, you are not directly swiping or using your card at the store. This can provide an extra layer of digital security, but can also keep anyone from physically stealing your card details in person.
One last benefit is that it can provide a backup method of payment if you forget your credit card or don’t have cash on you.
One of the main disadvantages of the digital wallet is that stores that offer digital wallet support are tough to find. A recent study found that of the millions of card accepting locations in the US, only about 10% supported digital wallets at this point. While digital wallets do seem like a way of the future, the hardware needed by the store to support digital wallets is often expensive. So, adoption by stores could take some time.
Above, the added layer of security was talked about as a benefit. However, from a different perspective, it may also be perceived as a disadvantage if you don’t trust the company storing your digital wallet details. For example, if you are using Apple Pay, the security of your info is only as good as Apple’s security. If they get hacked, then your sensitive information could be exposed.
Summing it Up
At this point in time, you will likely still need to carry another method of payment with you as digital wallets aren’t widely supported yet. That being said, it can’t really hurt to give digital wallet a try. Whether or not it is worth it may depend on what stores/restaurants you frequent most often. You may find that many of these stores/restaurants provide support for digital wallets.