Have you noticed that mobile payments are all the rage? Whether it’s Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Android Pay, it’s now easier than ever to leave your wallet at home and tap your phone to pay. So, mobile wallets…what are they and are they safe? Let’s find out below.

What are mobile wallets?

Mobile wallets allow you to use a compatible mobile device (that has a NFC chip installed) to make contactless payments at point of sale terminals. For example, you can use a compatible Apple iPhone to pay for your purchases at a Myer store, using Apple Pay .

There are three main mobile wallet systems:

  1. Apple Pay
  2. Samsung Pay; and
  3. Android Pay

You’ll need to add your credit or debit card details to your mobile wallet and then you can start paying for things by placing your phone near the payment terminal.

Note, not all credit and debit cards can be used for mobile payments, so check with your credit provider to see if their cards support mobile payments.

Are mobile wallets safe?

Rest assured, mobile wallets are safe. They use a system called tokenisation, which means that your sensitive credit card data is replaced with a randomly generated number – a “token”. When you pay for something, the retailer receives the token. They don’t receive any of your sensitive credit card details. This token is unique and is only valid for this specific transaction, so if the token is somehow stolen or skimmed, it can’t be used to make other purchases.

Some mobile wallets may need to you open the payment app to make the payment or they may require you to verify your ID by entering your phone passcode, use the fingerprint reader, or facial recognition, as an extra layer of security.

If you lose your phone, most systems allow you to log in to your account from another device to lock it remotely for peace of mind.

Do you have a question about mobile wallets? Let us know on our Facebook page in the comments.

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