Over the last couple of years, I’ve followed the growth of the digital wallet. I’ve even had Apple Pay on my phone for awhile, along with one of my credit cards stored on my device.
Until a few days ago, though, I haven’t actually had the chance to use a digital wallet. Most of the point of sale terminals I’ve had access to in the last year or so haven’t been equipped to deal with digital wallets. This time, when I went to the grocery store, I spotted a versatile terminal that could handle the near-field communication technology (NFC) that makes most digital wallets work.
I decided to give it a try, and I really liked it.
Digital Wallets are Quick and Easy
The best reason to use a digital wallet is convenience. After all, a big part of the reason that many of us have moved from using cash and checks to credit cards is the convenience. You keep a slimmer wallet, and you don’t have to fill anything out.
EMV technology is changing the way we use plastic, though. With chips becoming widely accepted in the United States, credit cards aren’t always as quick and easy to use. However, when retailers upgrade their terminals to accept smart chips, many are just going all the way and getting those that allow consumers to use a digital wallet. It’s clearly the next iteration of payment, and it makes sense to be prepared.
Digital wallets are even easier to use than credit cards. All you have to do is hold your phone near the payment terminal, and the NFC technology takes over to communicate almost instantly. In my case, I can even use a digital wallet from my lock screen. I have Touch ID, so once my phone realizes I’m within payment distance of the terminal, it alerts me and asks me to use Touch ID to pay. My credit card is immediately presented, and the transaction goes through smoothly.
I was surprised at how much easier and quicker it was than using a more traditional credit card.
Digital Wallets are Secure
It’s also reasonably secure to use a digital wallet. In fact, even with some of the security concerns, the reality is that it’s probably safer to use your encrypted digital wallet for transactions than it is use your physical credit card, according MakeUseOf:
The process of processing a digital transaction through modern encryption technology is safer and far more efficient than using an ATM machine or swiping your card at the local big box retailer.
Your main risk comes from losing the phone. Equipping your phone with a good password or using biometric data (like the fingerprint reader with Touch ID) can help keep the phone locked down if it’s lost or stolen. There are also ways you can wipe your phone clean if it’s lost or stolen in order to protect the data you have.
There is no way to be completely secure, no matter what form of payment you use, but if you use a digital wallet, you’re likely to be reasonably secure in your transactions.
I enjoyed using my digital wallet, and I hope that I will have more places to use it soon.