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Six Cool Things Mobile Wallets Can Do For You

Mobile Wallets

This is the second blog in a short series on mobile wallets. I would strongly encourage you to go back and read Part 1, Mobile Wallets: Convenient, but Worth the Risk? before proceeding to the following blog. Also, I have put together a Quick Guide to Mobile Wallet Terminology to explain the components of mobile wallets.

After writing my last blog, I couldn’t stop thinking about the possibilities and freedoms that come with mobile wallets, but also the risks and consequences (I gave situational examples in Part 1).

Later that night, I was talking on the phone with my brother, and I found myself asking him what he thought about mobile wallets and if he would consider using one. After talking for a few minutes about the technology and the possibilities, he mentioned that he didn’t know enough about the technology to decide if he’d be willing to use it. He said that he has seen advertisements but still didn’t have enough information to draw any conclusions and didn’t want to make a judgment prematurely.

I thought that was fair, and I agreed that more information would help me make a judgment call as well. With that being said, I have put together a list of five “cool” things that mobile wallets can do for the consumer:

  1. Manage credit and debit cards: Store all your debit and credit cards in one central location by simply adding account information to the application.
  2. Make an in-store payment: When you are checking out at a store, all you have to do it “tap” (place mobile device near payment terminal) your phone on a compatible payment terminal, and the device, with the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) will complete the transaction.
  3. Pay for online and mobile purchases: Everyone knows that the worst part of shopping on your phone or online is typing your account information at checkout. Companies like Amazon offer 1-click checkout, and mobile wallets will give you similar freedom. Once you have your accounts set up, you can easily check out online or on your phone by hitting the “buy” button. For example, if you were using Google Wallet, the button would say “buy with Google.” Apple pay has a similar button that appears at checkout.
  4. Manage reward cards: You know how you have a rewards card for every store, and if you don’t it’s because you already have too many? With a mobile wallet, you can store rewards cards for ALL your favorite stores, without the hassle. Mobile wallets allow you to easily manage rewards and status of loyalty programs.
  5. Manage offers and discounts from merchants: Mobile wallets allow you to search coupons, offers, and discounts for participating merchants. With applications such as Google Wallet, you can store online offers and coupons and redeem them later. Say goodbye to clipping coupons, and then actually remembering to take them to the store! If you are like me, you might save money by using a mobile wallet.

I could continue to list features of mobile wallets, because the possibilities are truly endless. But before you get too excited, I want to discuss a possible risk. One major downfall that I came across was that there is no standardization with mobile wallets regarding technology. Depending on the application you purchase, whether that be Google Wallet or Apple Pay (there are many other products on the market; these are two examples) the technology that powers these applications may be very different.

Stay tuned for my next blog which covers the different technologies that power mobile wallets. Please feel free to leave a comment or question below. Thoughts are encouraged!