They’re fast and easy to set up and use. Here, everything you need to know about shopping with electronic wallet apps.
Ever notice how lineups at retail aren’t as long as they used to be?
Perhaps this has something to do with the growing popularity of electronic wallet apps, which work with your mobile device – such as a smartphone or smartwatch – so you can pay for something with a simple tap or wave at a checkout counter.
Also referred to as mobile payments, these electronic wallets (e-wallets) are not only fast and easy to set up and use, but they’re widely accepted, secure and offer other benefits to the shopper and retailer.
How does it work?
The premise is simple: Canadians can use a compatible smartphone or smartwatch to make a purchase at supported retailers – even if they’ve left their cash or cards at home.
Phones can serve as an e-wallet if they’re embedded with near field communication (NFC), a short-range wireless radio technology that lets you simply touch a merchant terminal – the same ones that support those tap-and-go contactless credit cards like Visa’s payWave and MasterCard’s PayPass, which also use NFC technology.
Purchases usually get capped at $100 or so, but no PIN is required to complete the purchase – a convenience boon for both the customer and retailer. (Since your phone requires a code or fingerprint to unlock, your account is safe if you lose your device.)
Most mobile payment solutions today are tied to an app provided by a financial institution, with most of Canada’s major banks onboard.