Are you using a digital wallet? If not, you are not alone. Only about 13 percent of smartphone users have adopted digital wallets, the relatively new technology that allows our mobile devices to execute a myriad of financial transactions. But digital wallets are coming of age at a lightning pace. Companies like Due offer digital wallets that have streamlined the way we pay for things and get paid, and are changing the world of commerce itself.  So if you have been slow to adapt to the word of digital wallets, here are four reasons to change your mind, and get a digital wallet today.

Security

Losing your wallet, or worse, having it stolen, can be a disaster. You have to systematically cancel all of your credit cards, and then get them all reissued, deal with any theft, damage to your credit rating, and so forth. Credit cards and other financial instruments contained in your digital wallet, on the other hand, are inherently more secure. Your phone itself has security measures like passcodes and fingerprint scanning to protect other people from accessing it, and the financial data contained in your digital wallet is itself encrypted. Thus, a thief would have to defeat substantial layers of high-tech security before you were rendered as vulnerable as you are walking around with an analog wallet and credit cards in your back pocket.

Wide (And Growing) Acceptance

Another reason to ditch the leather billfold for a digital wallet: there are more and more businesses accepting them every single day. For example, Samsung, Apple and Android Pay alone are accepted at ten million, three million, and one million stores alone, respectively. The number of stores accepting digital wallet transaction is only going to grow, too; by the end of this year, over 37% of Americans are expected to use a digital wallet in some sort of transaction, an enormous growth in a few short years. Business are almost certain to oblige them, so you can expect more and more stores, even small businesses, to cash in on the e-payment trend.  

Shop Online Instantly

One of the best things about having all of your credit cards on your smartphone is the ability to shop online, instantly. More and more websites are making it easy for you to access your digital wallet while within “store mode,” and then pay for something on the spot. Contrast that with pulling out your plastic credit card from your old analog wallet, then keying in your card number, name, address, and security number onto a website you are accessing from your smartphone. The hassle of that process alone is reason enough to ditch the old leather wallet and go digital right away. As this technology continues to become more popular with consumers, no doubt more and more websites will follow the trend, and digital wallet acceptance will be the rule, not the exception.

Load it Up

If that old leather wallet in your back pocket is a George Costanza wallet, loaded up with every credit card, business card, hard candy and anything else you can think of, don’t fret, you can load up your digital wallet, too. You can put all of your credit and debit cards into it; you can upload your loyalty and reward cards into your digital wallet as well, and take advantage of discounts and points earned for using your cards. Then, if you take advantage of other apps, you can turn your slim smartphone into that giant fat wallet you love, by loading up apps like airline rewards programs, coupon apps, contacts, post it notes and the like. Your phone can truly be transformed into a fat wallet, with everything you used to keep in your old leather one. Except the hard candy.

William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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