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What Is a Mobile Wallet and Why Is It Useful?

What Is a Mobile Wallet and Why Is It Useful?

Once upon a time, phones were used to call people. Then they became Internet-access devices, email tools, cameras, calendars, calculators, compasses, and flashlights. Now they’ve become mobile wallets, too. A mobile wallet is a digital way to store credit, debit, ID, and gift cards so that purchases can be made using a mobile smart device rather than a physical card. 

Why would someone want to use a mobile wallet?

  • Convenience. Most users rate this as the number one benefit. Our smartphones are with us at all times, so the convenience of not shuffling through an entire deck of plastic cards during checkout is quite appealing. Someone can even wear their mobile wallet by storing it in a smart watch or Fitbit®. What’s in your mobile wallet? A lot! Mobile wallets enable customers to store all credit, debit, ID, healthcare, gift, and loyalty cards; theater, bus, and train tickets; boarding passes; and hotel key cards all in one place. No more “George Costanza” wallet! They can be used for online purchases, too.
  • Health risk reduction. No-contact mobile wallet payments reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 or a myriad of other germs that live on payment surfaces.
  • Safer shopping. It may surprise you, but mobile wallets offer better theft protection. A thief can max-out a credit card before a victim even realizes it’s been stolen. Phones that are set up properly will offer two levels of protection: a required code or fingerprint to unlock the phone and the ability to remotely erase sensitive information. 
  • Time savings. Mobile wallets offer customers a quicker way to complete purchases. They can help reduce lines and get customers on their way without a frustrating wait.

How is a mobile wallet created and how do you choose an app?

Setting up a mobile wallet is very easy. Today, smart devices come with the most common apps preloaded, however device compatibility often limits which app can be chosen. 

The most common apps are Android Pay, Apple® Pay, and Samsung Pay. The set-up for the major apps is simple: launch the app, take a photo of your card or enter its information, and follow the step-by-step instructions. This process is then repeated for all other cards entered.

How do mobile wallets work?

It's simple! If you see the contactless symbol on a vendor’s contactless payment reader, all you have to do is open the account payment app on your smart device, select a card to use, and then hold the smart device a few inches above the payment reader.

Look for the contactless symbol.

The transaction uses Near-Field Communication (NFC) via radio frequencies. While customer card information is stored in the mobile wallet, an encrypted Device Account Number (DAN) is used in place of actual account numbers. Not sharing account information offers customers more protection and limits vendor liability, too. If the DAN is stolen, a new one can be assigned and the user’s account remains uncompromised.

We’re not a cashless society yet, but… according to the CIA’s World Factbook, there are 422 million cell phone subscriptions in the United States today. By 2025, it's estimated that cell phones will account for more than 77% of all Internet-enabled devices; naturally, the demand for mobile financial services like mobile wallets will rise with this increase.

Add your Clearview debit or credit cards to your mobile wallet today!
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