Updated April 5th, 2023
Do you want a faster, more convenient way to pay for items at the store or online? A digital wallet is quickly becoming a preferred method of purchasing things for many people thanks to its convenience, speed, and security.
In fact, most modern phones now come with some kind of digital wallet pre-installed and ready for you to use. For example, iPhones come with Apple Pay wallets installed.
But what exactly is a digital wallet, and how do you use one? If you’ve seen people in the grocery store paying with their phones and wanted to know more about it, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about using a digital wallet.
What is a digital wallet?
A digital wallet is a quick and easy way to pay for items using your phone instead of tapping a card or using cash.
A digital wallet uses a special app on your phone that contains a digital version of your credit, debit, or prepaid cards that you can use to pay for things instead of the physical version. If you leave your house without your wallet or cash, you can easily use your phone to pay for items in most stores.
Some of the top digital wallet apps include Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Paypal, and Venmo. Digital wallets can be used both on your phone and via desktop for online purchases as well.
How do you use a digital wallet?
Using a digital wallet is super simple. In most cases, you’ll have a digital wallet app already on your phone, whether it be Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay. If you don’t already have one of these installed or prefer using another app, the first step is to install that.
Next, all you need to do is open the app on your phone and add a new card. Each app has its own method of doing this, but they’re all similar. You can usually enter your card details manually or snap a photo of the front of the card to upload the details automatically.
Once you have a payment card saved in your wallet, you can tap that on card terminals in stores to pay for things. Simply go into your digital wallet when you’re ready to pay and hold your phone up to the terminal. You may have to enter a pin or hold your thumb over the print scanner — this depends on your app and current security preferences.
Many stores that accept card payments now accept payments from digital wallets such as Google Pay. So, if you decide to swap your physical wallet for a new digital one, you shouldn’t have an issue in many stores, restaurants, movie theaters, or bars that accept card payments.
Top reasons to start using a digital wallet
The number one benefit of using a digital wallet is that it’s convenient. If you’re used to carrying your phone with you but sometimes leave your wallet at home, you can still buy things with your phone.
It’s one less thing to worry about, and you won’t have to rummage in your bag or wallet for the right card. All you need to do is whip out the phone, unlock it, and hold the phone over the terminal for an instant transaction.
Digital wallets can also be used for online purchases as a quick checkout option. By selecting Paypal or Google Pay, you won’t have to enter all your card details into a website. You can simply select your digital wallet and complete your checkout.
2. Shop with security
When using a digital wallet like Apple Pay, you usually have to enter a pin or hold your finger over the fingerprint scanner to unlock it. This offers an extra level of protection in the event that you lose your phone or it gets stolen.
Compared to a wallet full of bank cards, this can be a safer option since whoever finds or steals your phone should not be able to make purchases.
Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay all offer good levels of security in their digital wallet apps.
3. You can use your digital wallet for storing other things
Digital wallets aren’t limited to holding just payment cards. With most digital wallets, you can use them to store gift cards, your driver’s license or virtual ID, boarding passes, concert tickets, and more.
Keeping all of this with your payment cards is a convenient and secure way to carry a lot of sensitive information. It also means you don’t have to bring out important original documents that could get lost.
4. See your transactions across cards at a glance
In some digital wallets like Apple and Google, you can see your recent transactions from each card to keep track of your spending and budgeting. Rather than logging in separately to each bank account to see your balance and recent transactions, you can simply swipe to see them all at a glance.
This is ideal if you’re trying to stick to a strict budget and want to limit spending on everyday purchases.
5. You can use it across devices
Another benefit of using a digital wallet is that you can use it on multiple devices. You can use your phone to make payments, pay via a desktop browser, or even with a smartwatch. For example, Apple Pay works with Apple watches, and Fitbit Pay is available for Fitbit users. This offers more options, so you’re not limited to one single payment method.
Add your Netspend card to your digital wallet today!
Just like any other payment card, you can add your Netspend card to most digital wallets as well. Simply pull up your chosen digital wallet app and follow the instructions to add a new card.
With your card in your digital wallet, you can better control your spending in digital form while you’re on the go.
Apply today for a Netspend Prepaid Card, or learn more here.