What’s up with digital wallets?

18 Oct 2021

Except for chip-and-pin technology and contactless payments, the evolution of payments has been pretty slow. But that’s all about to change thanks to the emergence of ‘digital wallets’ or ‘e-wallets’.

With four in five Australian adults already owning a smartphone, and Australia being one of the biggest users of tap-and-go payments in the world, we should be ripe and ready to adopt digital wallets—wallets in our smartphones.

To help you keep up to date with digital wallets, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about these fintech platforms so you can stay in the loop.

What actually is a digital wallet?

A digital wallet is when your phone works like an electronic version of your current wallet, allowing you to make cashless purchases. By linking your bank account to the platform, you can securely turn your smartphone into a debit/credit card, which you then tap at the cash register.

Most of us have our smartphone on us AT ALL TIMES, so this means no more fumbling around in your handbag or pockets looking for your wallet. Not to mention no more waiting around for a replacement card when you can just use your phone if you damage the original card or leave your wallet at home.

As well as instore use, these platforms also make online shopping or paying for your mobile plan a breeze. Once your card details are in the digital wallet app, you won’t need to then re-enter them once at the online checkout, simply access your digital wallet through your username and password.

Which wallet app?

Payment Options

Some of the most popular (and advanced) digital wallet platforms are designed by the very brands that make the phones and operating systems themselves. The digital wallet transactions themselves are the same—the only pros and cons are whether the app is available on your phone and whether you like it or not.

Apple Wallet & Apple Pay

Available on select Apple devices, Apple Pay lives in Apple's Wallet app. To access it, you’ll need an Apple ID that is signed into the iCloud.

Google Pay

The love child of Android Pay and Google Wallet. Google Pay is available for select Android devices.

Samsung Pay

The Samsung Pay app was the first platform in the country that’s available to customers of all the ‘Big Four’ banks in Australia. Samsung Pay is available on select Samsung devices and utilises both NFC (Near Field Communication) & MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology.

The best digital wallet app?

Choosing the best app is up to you! Have a look at the different digital payment apps available and see if one of the interfaces feels natural to you. If it works and it’s secure, then that could be your perfect digital wallet, whether you need a wallet app for android or apple.

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How do digital wallets and transactions work?

While each provider and device works slightly differently, the overall concept is the same. Firstly, you need to download the app that is compatible with your device and enter your card details. Just like how you once downloaded your bank’s mobile app in order to use online banking on your device. Or like how you download the amaysim app and enter your amaysim account details.

In order to actually pay, the platform simply requires you to hold your smartphone near the card reader, just like you would do with tap-and-pay cards. The platform will then authenticate your purchase with a PIN, fingerprint read, or facial recognition—whatever you prefer, and the platform allows.

These platforms use NFC technology that allows radio frequencies to communicate with each other. While this tech has been available for quite some time, it is only just starting to be built into smartphones, so be sure to check that your device is NFC-enabled.

Are digital wallets safe?

Visa Digital Payments
Image Credit: VISA

By utilising the security features that are already built-in to the hardware and software of your device, these platforms are actually making your transactions more secure than ever! For example, if your smartphone has fingerprint scanning you can pay using your biometric authentication. In some cases, digital debit cards with a digital wallet app is one of the most secure ways to pay for your purchases.

Another security bonus of using these platforms is that your card information (such as your 16-digit card details) is actually hidden when making a purchase. Even more than this, your transaction is then authenticated with encryption, making the payment process even more secure.

Are there loyalty card apps too? And a Medicare digital card?

Short answer: yes!

As well as accessing your card information, these platforms can bring your loyalty cards, coupons and gift cards together. So no more heavy wallets stuffed with cards you’ve forgotten you even had. Though if you prefer, you can keep your loyalty cards in a separate app with apps like Stocard or Loyalty Card Keychain being popular options.

As for the rest of your wallet, the essentials like your Medicare card can be digitised too with a digital Medicare card. Almost every card in your physical wallet can be digitised, even your drivers license!

Remember—if you use a few apps in your digital wallet, organise them into a folder to keep your phone neat and tidy.

So, are you now ready to make the switch?

A digital wallet could help you keep track of all your cards—debit cards, credit cards, loyalty cards and more. Making the switch could mean making it easier to stay in charge and keep organised.

Spend an afternoon binge-watching what’s new on Netflix and digitise your wallet. Just remember to make sure you have the mobile data to support your digital wallet. Goodbye to the old wallet that’s falling apart, hello to the new digital wallet that’s stored in your phone! Just remember you have internet access to actually use your digital wallet.

amaysim’s SIM only plans are a great option and give you the freedom to simply pick the data allowance that suits you best. Starting from just $12/28 days, with no lock-in contracts and the option to change your plan each month at no extra cost, it’s an easy choice when it comes to finding the perfect mobile plan to match your usage and budget needs.

#lifestyle    #smartphones    #fintech