Got too much junk crammed in your wallet? Store it in your smartphone. Got a ton of credit cards stuffed in that same wallet? Now you can pay bills with your smartphone.
Society is reaching a point where physical currency may not be seen during the course of an average business day. More people are starting to replace that cash with digital wallet applications.
No particular smartphone wallet app has dominated the cyber world to this point, but recent updates in EMV technology are seeing more merchants and consumers turn to digital wallets.
Here are five of our favorites that are available right now:
1.) Google Wallet
This mobile wallet app dates back about 5 years and was one of the first widely available. Users can make online purchases through their credit, debit and gift cards stored in their Google accounts, and send money to friends across the U.S. through their phone number or email address. A user then completes the sale by tapping their phone and paying.
Your account can only be accessed by using your PIN. If you ever lose your phone, you can cancel access to your account through myaccount.google.com. Your financial information is encrypted on Google’s secure servers, and Google Wallet comes with 24/7 fraud protection.
PayPal has a mobile app for iPhone and Android that lets you create personal and business accounts. You can send or receive money to your personal account, and PayPal has a detailed record of your past transactions. Payments can only be made at locations that are using participating PayPal POS systems.
User-friendly checkouts can only be completed at designated PayPal accounts. Users check into a site by swiping once and state their name at the end to finish the payment. PayPal offers more payment options and is accepted in more than 200 countries worldwide.
3.) Apple Wallet
The Apple Wallet lets users keep all of the credit cards and rewards cards in the same place. It also lets you redeem coupons and check the balance on a gift card. Password settings are available so you can receive automatic notifications on important dates, and you can add passwords to a web browser, scanning barcodes and by mail or messaging.
4.) Samsung Pay
Samsung Pay is a simple and secure way to pay for things on your Samsung Galaxy device. A user swipes up to open the application and hovers over the card reader to complete payment. The security of the transaction is guaranteed with your fingerprint. Samsung Pay does not store or share your payment information.
You can add a loyalty card by going to the Membership tab, hitting add a card, scanning the barcode, and taking a picture of the card or entering the number yourself.
5.) Microsoft Wallet
Microsoft Wallet is the new mobile wallet payment app for Windows 10. A user merely needs to tap their phone on a contactless payment terminal to finish a transaction. Users can store credit and debit cards in Microsoft Wallet, as well as add cards from restaurants, libraries, retail stores and health clubs. Microsoft Wallet also sends a one-time transaction number and an encrypted security code every time you tap it to pay for a sale.
Microsoft recently added the NFC tap-to-play feature to its Lumia Windows 10 mobile devices. These mobile wallets appear to be work-in-progress and are gaining acceptance slowly. The updated EMV equipment allows more merchants to accept mobile wallet cards.
Your best bet is to check whether your favorite retailers are accepting your mobile wallet and to choose the one with the best security assurances for your smartphone.