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No need for cards – go digital to pay

November 23, 2023

You’ve gone out and forgotten your payment cards. Unless you have cash, you’re stuck when you need to pay for something.

Fortunately, technology allows us to carry a digital wallet, which can contain all your cards – including loyalty cards – with your smart phone.

It means you don’t have to use a physical card to make a payment, although it works much the same way. Instead of swiping or tapping your card at a store, you just open the wallet on your phone, hover it over the store’s payment machine, and pay by verifying it’s you – with a security code or fingerprint scan.

Loading your cards into a wallet is surprisingly easy. iPhones have Apple Wallet, and there’s also a Google Wallet. There are plenty of apps to choose from for both Apple and Android phones.

To load cards, simply open the wallet and add the cards you want. It makes things easy by asking to use your camera to scan your card and load all the details. Then you’re ready to use it at the supermarket, in stores or online.

There are other handy features in wallets, which will no doubt expand as technology advances. For example, you can store and use your passes (such as for a concert), account cards and travel tickets. Many airline apps offer the option to "add to wallet". Google has also enabled a feature that will let you add a boarding pass from a screenshot, so if you can't add your boarding card, screen shot it from the airline app and then you'll find you have the option to add it to your wallet.

You can even use a wallet to unlock and start your car, if it’s a modern vehicle with a car key reader. With passive entry – default when you set up a digital key – your phone will automatically unlock your car doors when you’re near, start your car when you’re inside, and lock your car doors when you leave.

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