If some person told you few years ago that today you won’t have the need to actually have a wallet and money in it you would probably think that he is crazy. But the technology is improving surprisingly fast and in everything is becoming more digital, including our wallets. The concept of digital wallets (or e-wallet) is pretty simple. It is an online account where you store money and use it to pay for stuff. But do you know what the actual definition of digital wallet is? What can it do? And how do they work? Most probably not and if you want to find that out just read the rest of this article.
E-wallet is exactly what I said above, account where money can be stored and used when it is needed. With e-wallet you can buy groceries, tickets, devices or anything else without having the need to deal with lots of cards or paper money. If you need an e-wallet you can simply sign up to some service where e-wallet is available and then buy things on website where you can pay with it.
What you need to do is very simple and everyone can do it. The first step is to register on service provider and then create a wallet for yourself. After you want to buy something check e-wallet as payment option, transfer money to your account and pay for things you bought.
E-wallets can be used in different places and in different ways:
- Online grocery. Lots of online stores offer a possibility to pay for stuff with e-wallet.
- Bill payments. You can even pay for your bills with e-wallet. Now it’s much easier to pay for electricity, phone, mobile or any other bill.
- Mobile e-wallet. Mobiles can be now used as a wallet. Install app, put money to account and pay with smartphone.
The good and the bad
Even though e-wallet seem like a really good idea there are still some disadvantages of using them. Here is the list of benefits first:
- Cost. If you look at it, companies actually don’t need a cashier to allow people to pay for stuff. People can simply scan their mobile device and pay for stuff with e-wallet. That will reduce number of people needed for work and therefore reduce costs for company. That could easily lead to lower prices of stuff.
- Business advantage. People like technology and everything connected to it. Companies that offer a solution for paying with digital wallet will have a large marketing and business advantage over companies that sill use “old-fashioned” payment process.
- The whole process of paying for stuff becomes much faster and simpler with digital wallets because people can pay with a simple scan of mobile or tap on the screen. The complete experience of purchase becomes better and people feel more satisfied. Oh yeah, and lines are much smaller.
- Little above this I described you how to create your own digital wallet and how to make purchase with it in just few sentences. And that is about everything you need to know about creating a digital wallet. Yes, it is that simple.
There are lots of other smaller benefits that can be listed here but these are the most important ones. Everything seems perfect so far but there are also some disadvantages when using digital wallet.
- Theft. This one actually works for everything, not just digital wallets. If someone steals your password they should be able to easily steal your money.
- Refund. You can’t get a refund when paying with digital wallet.
- Investments. If you own a company and want to get a digital wallet application it could cost you a lot. The software itself costs a lot and you have to think about maintenance, support, updates and all the similar stuff that comes with it. And you can’t install that application on anything, there has to be a special hardware for it.
- Servers. All the information about digital wallets in some company is stored on cloud server and if server fails or becomes slow because of high traffic there is no solution for that.
- Security. Information must be safe and if companies don’t develop a completely secure digital process then the results won’t be good. Digital wallets are one of the main targets of hackers.
Digital wallets can make your life much simpler than it is now, but only if you pick the right wallet. Here is a list of some best digital wallets available out there.
This one is pretty obvious choice. Create your Google Wallet account, insert some funds and then all you have to do is tap the smartphone on specific machine or simply wave the phone in front of it and payment is finished. But remember, your device must support NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, otherwise it won’t work.
When we got iOS 6 for new Apple devices we also got Apple Passbook with it. This system scans 2D barcodes and helps you to easily pay for everything you want. You also get notifications when your location is somewhere near a place where it is possible to use coupons, loyalty cards and similar stuff you enter in the app.
- Lemon Wallet
Another great digital wallet is called Lemon Wallet and it is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. It allows you to enter anything you need into it, from debit or credit cards to loyalty cards and coupons. When you want to use something it will transfer information to barcode and then all that merchants have to do is scan it. It is also possible to check account balance and all the past transactions within this app.
Square Wallet is very similar to Lemon Wallet. It is available for iOS and Android and it does pretty much the same stuff like every other wallet application. The only difference is that you cannot pay directly with your card entered. Instead it uses merchant cards.
The last application I will mentioned here is called Geode and it was made by iCache. It is actually a case with lots of features. It comes with Geode application where you can store every information you want and then, with the help of GeoCard, pay or stuff. All you have to do is swipe the card.
So, that’s pretty much it. Check more information about e-wallets in the infographic below. Do you use digital wallet? And does it help you in everyday life?