All Posts Tagged: David Pollino

Mobile wallets: Some basics worth knowing

David Pollino
Security

Do you use a mobile wallet?

Young people at an outdoor cafe; one of the young women is extending her phone over the waiter's hand-held payment device.Just like your everyday wallet, it’s a digital version on a smartphone, tablet, or watch. One of the ways you can use a mobile wallet is for storing your credit and debit cards digitally. Some mobile wallets allow you to simply hold your smartphone to a contactless card-reader to pay – you don’t even have to open the app! You may also discover security advantages.

As the usage of mobile wallets increases, I think it’s worth reviewing some basic information about them.

There are several well-known wallet apps. Apple Pay and Samsung Pay work with Apple and Samsung phones, PayPal works on nearly every phone, and Android Pay works across various phones that use the Android operating system. Microsoft Wallet is another option. Each of these can be loaded with all major credit and debit cards. You can use PayPal to pay at participating retailers; and Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Microsoft Wallet can be used to tap and pay with your phone at retail locations that have contactless card readers. There are other wallet apps, too, including store-specific ones such as Starbucks and Walmart. Masterpass is another wallet that’s accepted at millions of stores, including online retailers.

Mobile wallets can also store your prepaid cards, loyalty cards, gift cards, and more. Some wallets (Google Wallet, PayPal) also link to your bank accounts and enable you to send money person-to-person from your bank. As always, take care to download the app from a trusted source.

The sign-up process is usually straightforward. As you would expect, there is a verification process to make sure the cards you want to register are yours. Each institution has its own methodology for checking a user’s identity: some will send you a text with a short code, others may ask you some authentication questions. So before enrolling, make sure your bank has up to date information about you. The process will also likely involve submitting a photo of your card(s) or entering the card data.

Mobile wallets offer improved security over physical payment cards. The best mobile wallets use tokenization and encryption to protect your payment information. Encrypting your data when payments are made means that your actual banking details are not transmitted, which is more secure than swiping a physical payment card. Also, the wallet can only be accessed once you’ve entered your PIN or fingerprint into your phone, which is more secure than opening a real-world wallet! However, you must protect your device via a PIN, password, or thumbprint that locks the home screen, just in case your phone is lost or stolen.

A few more advantages worth considering:

  • Increasingly, mobile wallets can also be used for online shopping.  That can make online checkout much more convenient — especially via your phone, as you don’t have to type in so many payment card numbers.
  • Mobile wallet apps can give you instant records of previous transactions, which is easier than logging in to check your credit card statement.

I’ve been using mobile wallets for a while now; and I really enjoy the added ease, convenience, and security. One last tip – make sure your phone is charged before you go out to shop!

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12 fraud-prevention reminders for the holidays

David Pollino
Security
holiday_shoppers_wallst_crop

As you shop and spend, be aware so you can help prevent fraud from ruining your holiday enjoyment.

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A deal or steal? Take care with ‘bargains’ on Black Friday

David Pollino
Security
Young woman with bluish hair and cap looking at her laptop and holding a credit card, ready to make a purchase.

Phishing emails look like legitimate communications from real companies, but they aren’t.

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Have you checked your frequent flyer miles lately?

David Pollino
Security
Rear view of an airplane coming in for a landing at sunset.

Miles and points are currency, as they can be used for many real-world transactions such as flights, shopping, gift cards, and even cash.

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Charity scams: Make sure your money gets to the right place

David Pollino
Security
Young, smiling woman with clipboard greeting an older woman who is a potential donor at a charity event.

Before you donate, make sure you’re dealing with a genuine organization because scammers posing as nonprofits are after your money, too.

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