Everyone needs credit and debit cards and, while it’s true that loyalty cards can be great, they all take up waaaay too much real estate in your wallet!
What to do?
You’ve likely used the “add boarding pass to wallet” feature on your smartphone when you get your boarding pass emailed to you — but did you know you can also add just about any card to your device?
Well, it depends on your smartphone, your phone’s operating system and perhaps even your preferences.
If you have an iPhone, you can use Apple Wallet to upload your credit and debit cards. Then use multiple apps (Airmiles, Starbucks, West Jet, etc.) to sync your many loyalty cards to it because Apple hasn’t yet figured out how to let you upload them to Wallet directly (tsk). OR — use Stocard. It’s a handy app that lets you scan & upload all of your loyalty cards and then sync them with Apple Wallet. Or don’t — the app works well on it’s own, too.
Phones running an Android operating system will have Android Pay (now “Google Pay”). Android/Google Pay works like Apple Pay, but unlike Apple Pay, in addition to your debit and credit cards, it will allow you scan and upload all of your loyalty cards directly, without the need of a third-party app like Stocard.
Samsung phones have the benefit of choosing either Samsung Wallet or Android Pay. They both work the same way, so it’s really up to the user to decide which to use.
Microsoft has also entered the NFC (near-field communication) space with Microsoft Wallet for their Windows 10 smartphones. It works much like Android Pay and Samsung Wallet.
Your smartphone — whatever the device or operating system — must be unlocked in order for these “virtual” wallets to work. Most storefronts accept NFC payments, as long as you see either the “Apple Pay” or “Android/Google Pay”, etc. logos or they accept contactless payments (or “tap” payment).
Your credit and debit card info is never shared with retailers, as the devices don’t actually send out your real info, but a virtual account number that represents your account. So, as long as you a) don’t have a super-easy (ie. 12345) passcode, b) don’t share that passcode with others or c) don’t have any missing fingers — you can be sure that your data will be safe and won’t be used without your knowledge.
Oh! And the best part about all of these virtual wallets? If you like to shop on your phone, most shopping apps let you use virtual wallets to pay! This beats having to store your credit card info into the company app/site or worse — dig through your purse to find your actual wallet, then your card, to make that purchase. You’re welcome.