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Digital Wallet, Online Security |

What is a digital wallet — and how can you use one?

You’ve probably seen the icons on card readers in stores or on websites when you’re making a purchase: Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay. Some stores even have their own payment method, such as Kroger Pay at Fred Meyer stores. 

But you may not really know what any of those payment options mean.

These are examples of digital wallets, a digital repository that stores your credit and debit card information so you don’t have to insert or swipe your card at a physical store or enter your card number on a website.

How to use a digital wallet

If you have an iPhone or Samsung mobile phone, you have access to either Apple Pay (iPhone) or Samsung Pay preinstalled. To use Google Pay (Android Phones – many different makes and models), you will need to install an app from your device’s app store. Then you simply open your digital wallet application and take a photo of your credit and debit cards. You will need to make sure your card issuer is compatible with these digital wallets. (Heritage Grove debit and credit cards are compatible with Apple, Samsung and Google Pay devices.)

You can also use Apple Pay on an Apple computer, phone, or iPad for online shopping. Samsung Pay is only for in-store purchases at this time.

For Google Pay, you can also enter the card information at pay.google.com. If you’re signed into your Google account, you can use Google Pay for online shopping.

But is it safe?

A digital wallet sends a one-time token instead of your card number, security code, and other personal information, so it can be safer, especially for online purchases. This can keep your card number, security code, and other identifying information safe by limiting which sites have access to it.

However, your digital wallet itself is only as secure as you make it. You do need to authenticate each purchase using a passcode, thumbprint, face recognition, or other login method, so purchases themselves are safe. But you should ensure that your password on the digital wallet site is secure and that your phone requires a passcode, thumbprint, or face recognition to log in. This will ensure that your personal account information will be safe if you lose your phone. (Need help creating a secure password? Norton has some suggestions that can help.)

The bottom line
A digital wallet can be a safe and convenient tool for you. Need help setting it up or additional guidance? Please call us at 503-588-0211.

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