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The 411 on Mobile Wallets and Why You Should Consider Using One

The 411 on Mobile Wallets and Why You Should Consider Using One
What is a mobile wallet? Chances are you already have one and don’t even know it.

What is a mobile wallet?

A mobile wallet is an electronic version of the physical wallet you carry that lives on your smart phone or tablet rather than your purse.  It securely stores your debit card payment information providing a convenient and secure way to make purchases in stores or online. Most smartphones are already equipped with a mobile wallet. It stores all of your credit and debit cards, loyalty club memberships and reward cards. Once your cards are loaded into your mobile wallet you can begin using it to make contactless payments at participating merchants. Simply open your mobile wallet app and hold your device over the payment reader. Payments are made much faster and easier without the hassle of entering a PIN or waiting for change. 

It’s convenient but is it secure?

The answer is YES, for the most part. Smart phones requiring two-step authentication such as personal identification numbers (PIN) as well as fingerprint and facial recognition add an additional layer of protection to each transaction. You might be surprised to learn that a mobile wallets may actually help to reduce fraudulent charges on your debit card. Payments with your mobile wallet are made using a technology called tokenization that helps to prevent the exposure of your sensitive account information. Tokenization assigns a randomly generated alphanumeric ID or “token” in place of your 16-digit account number. When you pay, the token is passed to the merchant instead of your actually account number. It’s almost like using tokens at the fair. If you’re carrying around leftover tokens at the mall and one gets stolen from you, the thief can’t use it to make purchases because it has no meaning or value outside of the fair.

The bottom line:

While mobile wallet is growing in popularity, don’t throw away that old wallet just yet as many retailers are still in the process of acquiring the technology needed to accept mobile wallet payments. For now, I’m happy to use my mobile wallet wherever possible, if only to save a few precious moments at checkout – then it’s on to the next baseball game, dance rehearsal, tennis lesson and so on… There’s not much our smartphones can’t do these days – pictures, music, connect us to the rest of the world. What do you know, now it can even take the place of my bulky, unorganized wallet. You are now able to upload your First United Debit Card to your mobile wallet. To add your First United Debit Card to your mobile wallet, follow the instructions for your specific device and app.