A digital wallet – aka an “electronic wallet” – is an electronic method of paying for things, usually through an app on your phone. Someone who already feels comfortable with online banking may be more open to using a digital wallet, but there are still a lot of people who wouldn’t trust their banking or credit information. to an application.
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But aside from the convenience of paying over the phone, digital wallets are also a way to avoid contact with other people – or, more specifically, to avoid their germs. No more clumsily trying to squeeze your debit into the card reader while a service technician holds it out the window, or feverishly sanitizing your hands after receiving the card.
If you’re looking to get a digital wallet, here’s a look at five of the best and what you can expect when using them.
Last updated: April 14, 2021
With Apple Pay, iPhone users can link their Apple ID to a credit or debit card and use their phone to pay for things online or in person. This is the really unique feature of Apple Pay – most digital wallets aren’t accepted at in-person points of sale.
Users can protect their transactions by enabling fingerprint or facial ID authentication, and can also make payments with their Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac. Apple even offers a credit card – aptly named Apple Card – designed to work with Apple Pay and issued by Goldman Sachs.
Additionally, Apple does not store or access all of your card details, nor will they be shared with merchants during transactions.
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Google Pay is like Apple Pay, but for Android users. Users can download the app from the Google Play Store, add a card, and add authentication measures such as a PIN or fingerprint. Your phone must have NFC technology to make in-person payments (and it probably does if it’s a 2012 model or newer).
Google and Apple Pay are similar enough that you should probably let your phone make the decision for you. And WIRED even goes so far as to claim that they are more secure than physical cards – unable to be stolen or read in public, and faster than a smart card reader.
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PayPal is a very popular and widely accepted online payment system. Users can easily create an account, link a card, and use it to buy things at almost any site – which is faster and more secure than entering your card information for every purchase.
Although Apple and Google Pay have revolutionized in-person payments with digital wallets, PayPal users can now access the app in stores, where it should be accepted wherever Mastercard is compatible.
See: 12 COVID-proof financial tips from financial planners
Cash App was developed by Square in 2014 and allows users in the US and UK to transfer money to each other through the mobile phone app. Simply create an account, link your card, and find other users by name.
While you can’t use the app to buy things online or in stores, you can get the Cash Card, which is a debit card offered by Cash App that pays for things out of your Cash App balance.
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Venmo is actually owned by PayPal; but while PayPal serves retail transactions, Venmo is a more peer-to-peer platform, designed for people to send and receive money from each other.
Like the Cash app, users need to create an account and link a card to start using the service, and also have the option to get a Venmo debit card to complete retail transactions.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Apple Pay and 4 other COVID secure digital wallets