Just like it sounds, a digital wallet is an electronic form of a physical wallet that gives you the freedom to make payments from your: smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, or computer. Because you can link your debit and credit cards to the wallet, they don’t even have to be physically present for you to pay for a product or service. These features are increasing in popularity. In fact, the transaction value of digital wallets is projected to increase more than 50% in 2025.1 Learn more about this streamlined payment method, then link your credit union or bank accounts to start reaping the benefits.
How they work
A mobile digital wallet is a type of app available on select smartphones, tablets, or smartwatches. Oftentimes, newer devices will come with one pre-downloaded for your convenience. You can add credit and debit cards, discount or loyalty cards, gift cards, and more to your wallet. The most popular options are widely accepted by retailers, so you can use them just about anywhere to make purchases in-store, in-app, or online! Common apps include:
In many ways, digital wallets are safer than carrying your physical cards or cash. Every purchase is authenticated using fingerprint, facial recognition, or password/PIN software to prevent unauthorized use of your card(s). Merchants never receive your card details or personal information, either, because the wallet service encrypts it. As a result, your information is protected even in the event of a data breach. Retail data breaches grew more prevalent during the pandemic and led to over $3 million in losses in 2021.2
If your mobile device is lost or stolen, you can remotely lock, locate, or erase the data, depending on the functionality of your device and provider. Your financial institution can also deactivate your card(s) and help you through the process of replacing your card(s) if needed.
With digital wallets, that bulky collection of cards can remain safely in your purse or back pocket. Instead, securely and quickly check out with your device. Interested in making the switch? General Electric Credit Union (GECU) debit and credit cards are compatible with the most popular digital wallet apps, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Visit our main digital wallets page to learn more about these options and how to set them up on your device.