How to use a digital wallet
To get set up with a digital wallet, you'll first need to select and download an app, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay™. The app will assign special digital card numbers for each of the debit and credit cards you link up, which are specific to your app and device only. You'll also need to set up a single password for your digital wallet that grants you access to all your payment options. There's no need to memorize any information other than this password — if you're worried about forgetting it, write it down and keep it somewhere secure such as a home safe or password manager (never in your wallet or on your phone!).
Keeping your digital wallet safe
In many cases, using a digital wallet can be safer than carrying a physical one — but only if you follow certain precautions. Here are a few simple things you can do to keep your digital wallet safe.
- Use two-factor authentication.5 It's always a good idea to password-protect your phone to secure it in case it's ever lost or stolen, especially if you're using a digital wallet. Be sure to set a password to unlock your phone, and if possible, enable fingerprint authentication or a similar two-factor authorization system.
- Never use public Wi-Fi. Even if your phone security is tighter than Fort Knox, your sensitive financial information is still vulnerable to hackers if you use open or unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.
- Set up account alerts. To be on the safe side, it's a good idea to monitor your account activity and keep an eye out for any suspicious transactions. An easy way to stay ahead of potential fraud is setting up text alerts from your bank. For instance, you can receive a text any time a purchase for more than $50 is made.