WTF are mobile wallets?

  • A mobile wallet holds the information normally in your wallet, except it’s stored on your mobile device.
  • The most well-known mobile wallets are Apple’s Apple Pay and Google’s Android Pay.

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WTF are mobile wallets?
What is a mobile wallet? A mobile wallet holds all the information that would be in your ordinary wallet, except it’s stored on your mobile device. But unlike George Costanza, you won’t be plagued with back pain if you stuff your mobile wallet to brim. All sorts of stuff you’d normally put in your purse or wallet can be stored in mobile wallets, from credit card information to your library card. Unfortunately, they haven’t figured out the technology to include Tic Tacs yet, though maybe they'll do it through the blockchain or at Money 2016?). Where are mobile wallets used the most? The most common way mobile wallets are used is for the facilitation of mobile payments. Users put their credit or debit cards into their digital wallets, and are able to pay or transfer funds via one click or NFC technology. Who offers mobile wallets? The most well-known mobile wallets are Apple’s Apple Pay and Google’s Android Pay. Merchants like Starbucks and Walmart also have popular digital wallets. Other solutions available include a mobile wallet combined with a physical credit card, giving users the convenience of consolidating credit cards without fully changing the habit of pay-by-swipe. Secure wallets are also available, providing customers a digitally encrypted way to store all their sensitive information, like banking records and passport copies. Gift card consolidators merge gift cards into one place, ensuring these presents don’t end up in between couch cushions or at the bottom of a purse stuck together with old gum. Why are mobile wallets important? Digital wallets combine the two most important things any good millennial would never leave home without: a phone and a wallet. The ability to consolidate financial information and help people move away from schlepping around tons of credit, debit, and loyalty cards is an intriguing concept for merchants and customers alike. As consumer behavior changes, more merchants, banks, and third parties will try and lure customers to use their products. Photo credit: festivusweb via VisualHunt / CC BY

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