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Mobile Wallets… What, Why & How?

We’ve now crossed over from a hectic high volume holiday shopping season to the hopefully busy bargain season.  That’s nothing new, but doing it digitally is relatively new, and the dynamics have certainly changed.  The changes are significant in a number of ways.  However, I see it all as a double whammy.

First, we now use various means of technology to shop and register our opinions and experiences about our shopping.  Second, the vernacular we have always used related to the experience of shopping has changed.  This has resulted in the fact many of us need time to adapt and understand the new online shopping (or payment for goods/services) related jargon.

An annoying aspect of shopping related technology is the jargon the cognoscenti developed (as if the basic ideas were new).  Consequently, the ‘new’ jargon represents the concept the subject or idea is really original; and therefore, it needs a new vernacular with new meanings for words in order to describe it.

The reality is our languages are fully capable of handling most new concepts of technology and thought.  Take, for example, mobile wallets.  Think of a ‘mobile wallet’ as a method to take your credit and/or debit card data in digital mode using your mobile devices.

So, you are presenting your information without the physical piece of plastic.  This allows you the ability to pay for purchases with an assortment of devices including that new smart watch you got for Christmas.  That means there’s no more searching around for your card, because you have it on your digital device(s).

Actually, we’ve been doing that over the telephone for decades; we’ve been giving our credit information over the phone and online more recently.  Now, many of the banks such as Wells Fargo and Chase JP Morgan have online mobile wallet primers.

An emphasis is you can take contactless payments with your phone, tablet, etc. and skip check cashing and depositing altogether.  You should probably check to see whether your bank has this option.

I might add most of this is really aimed at merchant’s accounts, but in this day of eBay, flea markets, and Lets Go, the idea has spread becoming far more generalized.

Top Ten Reviews lists 2016’s 10 best mobile wallets.  Capital One, PayPal, Apple, and Samsung Pay are four of them.  However, each mobile wallet has its own characteristics and goals, so you need to explore each in order to determine what will serve your needs best.  This website is another good mobile wallet primer.

Another good informational site on mobile wallets is Mobile Payments Today.  This site is specifically for business discussing the benefits of using mobile payments.  The one thing that is certain in all of this are mobile wallets has caught fire.  New financial institutions are increasingly adopting the service in one form or another.

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Barbara Eber-Schmid
Barbara Eber-Schmidhttp://www.newmedia.org/
BARBARA Eber-Schmid is the Executive Vice President of the New Media Institute Inc.

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