In the simplest of terms, a mobile wallet is a method of payment. You can use your mobile wallet to make payments in a physical store or even sometimes online depending on the retailer. It is exactly like swiping your card in a store at check-out or giving cash to pay, but is much easier than both of those options.
How mobile wallets work:
- Download a mobile wallet app to your phone (or it may be already built into your mobile device) and then linking your Direct Visa card to one of these services.
- When you checkout at participating merchants, access the mobile wallet and choose your Direct Visa card and hold your mobile device up to the payment terminal.
What are the advantages of mobile wallets?
- Ease of use: Pull out your phone and within 5 seconds you have paid for your purchase. No hassle of finding your credit card, counting cash or fumbling through your wallet/purse.
- Synchronization of accounts: Your mobile wallet can hold all of your credit cards for easy access to any of your cards.
- Increased security: Mobile wallets are safer than carrying a credit card or cash in your wallet. That's because information stored in mobile wallets is encrypted, so the details of your credit card, for instance, aren't accessible to others. When mobile wallets transmit data to make payments, they never transmit your actual account numbers. Instead, they use encrypted payment codes. And your phone can't be opened without your fingerprint or a personal identification number, so getting to your data is much tougher than opening up your wallet or pocketbook.
- Store checkout can be faster: There are apps being developed that will let you pay while you're still walking in the aisles.
- Mobile wallets can be used for online shopping: Increasingly, retailers are making it easy to access your mobile wallet while you're on their websites. That can make online checkout much more convenient, removing the need to type in so many payment card numbers, especially on phone screens.
- Retailers widely accept payment by mobile wallet. Samsung Pay can be used at more than 10 million U.S. stores, Apple Pay at more than 3 million stores, and Android Pay at more than 1 million stores. The numbers will grow as retailers upgrade their payment card readers. The new readers come with near field communication (NFC) technology, which is used by mobile wallets to transact payments with cash registers.