Transform Your Phone into a Digital Wallet with Mobile Payments

July 09, 2018

Written by Erin Cooper, Marketing Coordinator

Person paying for a purchase using their smartphone

You’re standing in line at a busy shopping center fishing through your purse or wallet to find your debit or credit card. Meanwhile, the person in front of you merely places their phone near the payment terminal and purchases their items. They’re living the walletless life.

Pew Research reports 95 percent of Americans now own a cellphone and a majority of those are smartphones. With your mobile personal assistant constantly by your side, it’s becoming increasingly more convenient and secure to ditch the wallet or swap the purse for your cellphone. In fact, some experts believe the simplicity of digital wallets may one day make physical credit cards obsolete.

A digital wallet is a feature on your phone, tablet, or smartwatch that allows you to enter your credit, debit, and rewards card information to use for payments at eligible vendors. Most phones have this feature preloaded.

How It Works

Digital wallets featuring Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and Samsung Pay™ are replacing traditional cards due to the advanced security and convenience of the mobile payment option. A digital wallet is a feature on your phone, tablet, or smartwatch that allows you to enter your credit, debit, and rewards card information to use for payments at eligible vendors. Most phones have this feature preloaded. Your phone type determines whether you’ll use Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay.

Today’s mobile payment options work using a technology called near field communication. The technology allows you to simply place your phone near a payment device to make a purchase. The earliest mobile payment experiments used text messaging. According to Nearfieldcommunication.org, the first example of mobile payments came from the innovative Coca-Cola company in 1997. A select number of vending machines were outfitted with mobile purchase technology. The solution allowed a customer to send a text message to the vending machine to establish a payment system, and it would provide their afternoon treat.

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Enhanced Security

Mobile payments have come a long way in the past 20-plus years, and the additional security they provide above the traditional plastic credit card is one of the biggest benefits for consumers. Credit card skimming is a type of theft in which a small device is used to capture and store your card’s payment information when you swipe for your purchase. Skimmers can be placed on any card reader and are difficult to identify.

Digital wallets prevent this type of crime entirely, as there is no need to swipe a card. In fact, most mobile payment solutions use tokenization to ensure that your card information is never given to merchants or displayed on your phone. When you make a payment, the merchant is provided with a secure code, or token, valid only for that specific purchase; your real card number is never used. If your phone is ever lost or stolen, most Apple, Android, and Samsung devices allow you to clear your credit card information remotely.

Ready to transition to a digital wallet? Member One has all the information you need to get started, including resources for each of the three major platforms: Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay.