Mobile wallets: A safe, easy way to pay

October 27, 2020
Mobile wallet graphic

Think of how many times you’ve said this in the past five or 10 years: “I used to carry a ____________, but now I just use my phone.” Given how pivotal our smartphones and other devices have been in our lives, you might say that about any number of items: mirrors, calculators, books, cameras… we could go on and on. But do you say it about your wallet?

Mobile wallets offer excellent security and convenience, but not everyone is taking full advantage yet. If you’re one of the folks who isn’t yet using a mobile wallet, no worries — as with any newer technology, there are sure to be questions and concerns to address before you take the plunge. Let’s walk through them together.

What is a mobile wallet? Put simply, it’s a wallet that lives in your smart device, rather than your pocket or purse. More specifically, it’s an app on your mobile device that stores payment information from your debit card and credit cards so you can use that device to make purchases. There are several different mobile wallets that are compatible with specific devices. The major mobile wallets are Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and Samsung Pay™, and the apps come integrated in your mobile devices; there are also third-party apps you can download from your device’s app store. You then use your mobile wallet to pay for goods and services online and at retailers that accept your device as a payment method.

So, how does a mobile wallet work? You download the mobile app of your choice onto your smartphone or other compatible device (or use one of the preloaded options). Then, load the card information you want to store — from debit and credit cards to loyalty cards and coupons and even gift cards — which can be as easy as taking a picture of the card or using the mobile wallet app to upload the information. Once the app is installed and the information is entered, the wallet stores this info by assigning a personal identification format such as a number, QR code, key, or image to each stored card.

Why would you want a mobile wallet? Using a mobile wallet offers a safer, contact-free form of payment at a time when we’re all trying to reduce contact. It’s quicker than traditional payment methods. It’s also pretty hassle-free, as you can store all your payment card information in one place and not even have to carry the cards with you — and when you’re shopping online, you won’t be typing in (or storing) your information in merchants’ sites, which can also help to reduce fraud. In fact, it helps to reduce fraud in more than one way, as mobile wallets are generally harder to steal or copy than physical cards and cash. Don’t panic if you lose your phone, either, as all digital wallet transactions require the verification you set up (such as a fingerprint scan).

How do you use your mobile wallet? When you are shopping in person and are ready to pay, open the mobile wallet app and put your phone close to the digital payment-enabled terminal next to the register at participating merchants, and you're on your way. (This payment method is contactless and so much faster!) If you’re staying in and shopping online with your smart device, simply open your app and select a card at the checkout screen to securely pay with your debit card online.

Mobile wallets provide the ultimate in safety, security, and convenience. Your information is as close as your phone, tablet, or smartwatch, yet your information is encrypted, there’s no magnetic strip that could be picked up by roving scanners, and at a time when we are all washing our hands like crazy, your mobile wallet provides safe, contactless checkout.

We think those are pretty good reasons to put UBT where your (mobile) wallet is, but if you need more of an incentive, our promotion might do the trick: Once you add your UBT debit card to your mobile wallet, then use your debit card 20 times before November 30, 2020 — whether it’s via your mobile wallet, online, or even a good old-fashioned swipe — you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card* compliments of UBT. (And if you don't win in November, you'll get another shot in December, so keep using that card!)

  • Personal
  • Electronic Payments
  • Mobile Banking
  • Mobile App

Message and data rates may apply.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Participate in the November drawing by having 20 posted debit card transactions and adding your debit card to your mobile wallet (debit cards already set up in your mobile wallet are still eligible) between Sunday, November 1, 2020, and Monday, November 30, 2020, and/or participate in the December drawing by having 20 posted debit card transactions and adding your debit card to your mobile wallet (debit cards already set up in your mobile wallet are still eligible) between Tuesday, December 1, 2020, and Thursday, December 31, 2020 (the “promotion period”) to be automatically entered in the contest. Business accounts are not eligible for automatic entry. You may also participate in the drawing by completing the form at the following link during the promotion period. You must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia at time of entry. Residents of the state of Maine are not eligible to participate. YOU MUST NOT BE PROHIBITED BY FEDERAL OR STATE LAW FROM ENTERING THIS DRAWING OR FROM WINNING THE PRIZE. You may enter each drawing only once. You need not be present to win. You may win only once. The November winner will not be eligible for entry into December’s drawing. One November drawing winner and one December drawing winner will each receive one (1) Visa gift card valued at $500.00. Winner must pick up prize at a UBT branch location of their choice. Total value of all prizes awarded is $1,000.00. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. This drawing is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by or associated with Visa. Official rules available at Member FDIC