Mobile wallets are ‘convenient,’ but many wonder how safe they are

Mobile wallets are ‘convenient,’ but many wonder how safe they are

Your GPS, your music, your camera and our friends’ phone numbers are all on your smartphone these days.

But there’s another feature that not everyone takes advantage of: your mobile wallet. It has now become standard on iPhones and most Androids.

So should you use it, and is it safe?

Erin Hinebrock is sold on mobile wallets.

We found her holiday shopping, with just her Apple Watch synced to her iPhone, to pay for.

“You just double tap your watch,” she said. “And you paid.”

She’s one of millions of Americans who now shop with mobile wallets, and she loves it.

“My card comes up and it’s very easy,” she said. “I don’t have to take out my credit card, or cash or anything.”

Mikaela Van der Wally and Kelly Carson own a craft boutique. They say the technology makes transactions much easier.

“Not messing around with change, not having to carry change around all day is such a help,” Carson said.

Are the fears justified?

Nathan Grant with says he understands why some people might be hesitant to use a mobile wallet.

“I think the fear comes from, ‘well, I don’t want to store my personal information on my phone,'” he said.

But Grant says adding a debit or credit card to your mobile wallet actually adds a layer of protection because a mobile wallet uses an encrypted number to complete the transaction, not your actual credit card number.

“What it does,” he explained, “is it allows the payment to be processed without exposing your real information.”

If you lose your phone or smartwatch, your wallet more than likely stays safe, he said.

“You’re either going to need like a password, fingerprint scan, maybe a face scan if you have Apple products.”

The main mobile wallets are Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay — with apps already integrated into your mobile device.

In addition to security, meanwhile, mobile wallets can help free up space in your actual leather wallet.

And they can store other information, such as concert and airline tickets, and hotel reservations.

One last reminder: Grant says keep a card or cash handy. Most retailers, big and small, accept phone-based payments, but your local neighborhood store may not.

Erin Hinebrock loves the flexibility and says “it’s a lot easier. I use it all the time.”

And that way you don’t waste your money.


Don’t Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”).

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