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BLOG: Say Goodbye to Your Wallet

11/20/2015

Take a look inside your wallet. What do you see?

If you are like the average American, you’ll see your debit card, credit card, driver’s license, insurance card, maybe a photo and a few dollar bills.

We say a few dollar bills, but chances are you have $20 or less of that now seemingly historic cash money. According to a recent study by Bankrate.com, close to 50 percent of Americans carry less than $20 in their wallet on a regular basis, and that percentage will surely rise with the growing trend of a new payment system — the digital wallet.

You might ask, what is a digital wallet?

The digital wallet refers to an electronic device that allows an individual to make electric commerce transactions. So essentially, instead of reaching for cash or a card when you are at the checkout line, you can reach for you phone and pay for your groceries.

It may sound futuristic to pay for groceries without your wallet, but we now have the technology that will make you walletless!

Here are some of the most popular platforms currently in use.

Apple Pay

Rather than reach for a wallet next time you’re checking out, Apple Pay allows you to reach for your iPhone (it’s probably already in your hand).

Through Apple Pay, you can store all your credit card information in Apple’s Wallet app. To pay, simply hold your iPhone near the contactless reader of the checkout line with your finger on the home button. To ensure security, you will be prompted to scan your finger over the identification sensor of your iPhone. Because of this security measure, only users with an iPhone 6 or newer can use Apple Pay.

Apple Pay doesn’t just allow for in-store purchases; many websites now have an Apple Pay function. So instead of reaching for your credit card and typing in all those numbers when buying online, you can just click the Apple Pay icon, and voila — you just purchased a new pair of shoes!

Apple has even added security features that allow for suspension of Apple Pay if you lose your iPhone. Currently, the iPhone 6 models, Apple Watch, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro and iPad Mini 3 and 4 are Apple Pay compatible.

Samsung Pay

Much like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay allows you to make purchases with your Samsung Galaxy device. 

Samsung Pay works almost exactly like Apple Pay when making an in-store purchase. Credit card information is stored in the wireless device and when held next to a card reader, it will give the option to pay via Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay also requires a finger identification scan to confirm the payment.

Unlike Apple Pay, Samsung Pay does not feature online payments. Currently, the Galaxy S6 models and the Galaxy Note5 are compatible with Samsung Pay.

Google Wallet

If you have ever gone on a road trip with a group of friends and agreed to share gas expenses, you know what it’s like to have to exchange money between groups of people. You’re probably thinking of that buddy who never seems to have cash on him. With Google Wallet, being cashless will no longer be an excuse.

Google Wallet allows for the easy transfer of money between people. All you need to do is download the app and upload your debit card information. You can send money to anyone in the United States with an e-mail address.

When you receive money, you can quickly cash out to your bank account using your debit card or spend it instantly with the Google Wallet Card. Any Google Wallet user can apply for a free Google Wallet card, and it can be used at any location in the United States where Debit MasterCard® is accepted, or use it to withdraw cash from ATMs.

Now that you know a little bit more about the convenience and ease of digital wallets, why not try it out yourself? If you need to upgrade your current wireless device to the latest technology, visit one of FTC’s eight business offices to purchase a new phone!