What Is A Digital Wallet?

26 February 2017
Digital wallets have been around and in usage for many years, but recently major companies such as Google, Visa, and Mastercard have been bringing them to the forefront of the commerce sector by introducing their own versions of the same idea. But what exactly is a digital wallet?

What is a digital wallet?

It’s an app that stores your credit card or debit card information, and it has two main benefits. First, you can use it to make contactless payments using just your smartphone instead of needing to carry a physical wallet with you.

Secondly, you can use it to make your online shopping checkout a quicker and easier experience (similar to PayPal). A digital wallet app is usually accessed by way of a username and a password, saving you the effort of filling in a payment form with your personal and card details every time you want to make a payment.

Digital wallet apps for your phone

Digital wallet options available so far in Australia include Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Wallet – all encrypted with the same type of fraud detection and payment protection used on debit and credit cards.

Here is our latest list of which institutions are currently compatible with which digital wallet apps as of 26 February 2018:

Android Pay / Google Wallet Apple Pay Samsung Pay
American Express American Express Commonwealth Bank
Australian Unity Australian Unity Westpac
Bank Australia Bank Australia CITI
Bank Of Sydney Bank of Sydney Amex
Bankwest Bendigo Bank People’s Choice
Bendigo Bank Beyond Bank Australia Bank of Sydney
Beyond Bank Australia Big Sky Building Society Australian Unity
Big Sky Building Society Border Bank Bendigo Bank
CAPE Credit Union CAPE Credit Union Big Sky
Catalyst Money Catalyst Money Central Coast
Central Murray Credit Union  Central Coast Credit Union Central Murray
Central West Credit Union  Central Murray Credit Union Catalyst Money
Commonwealth Bank of Australia  Central West Credit Union Illawarra
Community First Credit Union  Community Alliance Credit Union Beyond Bank Australia
Credit Union Australia Community First Credit Union BOQ
Credit Union SA Credit Union SA Community First
Defence Bank CUA NBCU
Family First Credit Union Defence Bank CUA
Firefighters Mutual Bank Endeavour Mutual Bank Defence Bank
First Option Credit Union Firefighters Mutual Bank Nexus Mutual
Ford Co-operative Credit Society (Single-branded eftpos cards only) First Option Credit Union First Option
Goldfields Money Ford Credit Union Holiday Coast
Goulburn Murray Credit Union Co-Op Goldfields Money Horizon
Holiday Coast Credit Union Goulburn Murray Credit Union Macarthur
Horizon Credit Union Holiday Coast Credit Union Bank Australia
Illawarra Credit Union Horizon Credit Union Intech
Intech Credit Union HSBC P&N Bank
Laboratories Credit Union ING Border Bank
Macquarie Bank Intech Credit Union Police Bank
Maritime, Mining & Power Credit Union Laboratories Credit Union Ltd. RACQ Bank
Mystate Bank Latitude Financial Services Queenslanders
Nexus Mutual Lombard Finance Select Encompass
Northern Beaches Credit Union Macquarie SWSCU
Northern Inland Credit Union MyState Bank SCU Banking
P & N Bank Nexus Mutual Firefighers Mutual
People’s Choice Credit Union Northern Beaches Credit Union Teachers Mutual
Police Bank Northern Inland Credit Union UniBank
Police Credit Union Once Credit Reliance Bank
QT Mutual Bank P&N Bank Unity Bank
Queenslanders Credit Union People’s Choice Credit Union WAW
Reliance Bank Police Bank wecu
Select ENCOMPASS Credit Union Police Credit Union Latitude Financial Services
South West Slopes Credit Union RACQ GO Mastercard
Sydney Credit Union South West Slopes Credit Union 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
Teachers Mutual Bank Sydney Credit Union Virgin Money Australia
The Mac Teachers Mutual Bank
The Rock The Mac
UniBank The Rock
WAW Credit Union Co-Operative UniBank
Westpac Unity Bank
Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union Warwick Credit Union
Wyong Shire Credit Union WAW Credit Union
Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union
Source: Android, February 2018 Source: Apple, February 2018 Source: Samsung, February 2018
Source: www.canstar.com.au. Please note not all products from each provider will be compatible so please check with your provider.

Digital wallets are a valuable service considering that according to Visa, up to 86% of mobile users and up to 68% of online desktop users decide not to make purchases due to the process of entering credit card details, addresses, and other information, often on multiple screens.

The major difference is that while PayPal is seen as a computer-based service, the digital payment services being introduced by Visa and Mastercard are tailored for mobile devices. While the services are available on computers, their supposed appeal lies in the ability to make payments from any device.

Digital wallet apps for online shopping

Visa’s digital wallet service is called Visa Checkout, and so far it’s been made available in Australia, Canada, and the USA. Consumers can also store details from other branded cards in their account, making it accessible to those who aren’t Visa cardholders.

Visa Checkout replaced V.me, Visa’s first foray into digital wallets. Rather than officially calling Visa Checkout a digital wallet, the head of Visa Checkout in Asia Pacific Greg Storey described Visa Checkout as a “simplified payments experience”.

Storey said that Visa Checkout was developed in order to reduce the amount of people abandoning online sales due to the need to fill out complex and lengthy forms. As with transactions made via credit cards or debit cards, transactions via Visa Checkout will be bolstered with triple encryption over the network. Visa reports that according to 2015 customer service surveys, there is a 51% increase in customer conversions on average when merchants use Visa Checkout to streamline their checkout process.

MasterCard’s service is called MasterPass, and is available to consumers in Australia, Canada, China, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, the USA, the UK, Poland, and South Africa. It’s a digital platform that allows consumers to access a simplified payment service using any authorised device.

It supports a wide range of point-of-sale transaction types, including NFC, QR codes, tags, mobile devices, and traditional plastic credit cards and debit cards. It also offers a simplified online payment method, similar to PayPal.

MasterPass also enables banks and merchants to offer their own digital wallet, which consumers can securely store their card information in. As with Visa Checkout, MasterPass is an open platform, meaning cards that are not MasterCard branded can still be stored and used to make payments. A major focus of MasterPass is making mobile device-based payments safer, and more accessible.

So if you’re consistently frustrated by the cumbersome forms you have to fill out whenever you buy something online, it might be worth looking into a digital wallet for your online shopping or your smartphone.

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