7 reasons you should use a digital wallet while travelling 

Whether Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay or PayPal is your digital wallet of choice, this contactless payment method is safer – and more convenient – than your traditional credit card. 

While the majority of Australians still make payments using their physical debit and credit cards, digital wallets are on the rise. Data analysed by Juniper Research in 2022 identified trends that predict digital wallets will be used by more than 5.2 billion people across the world by 2026 – that’s more than 60% of the global population. The prediction is unsurprising given how easy and convenient digital wallet payments are, syncing seamlessly across devices for easy use both in-person and online. 

What is a digital wallet? 

A digital wallet is an electronic app that facilitates contactless payments. This app can be installed on smartphones and similar devices (such as an Apple watch) and allows users to make payments using their device, rather than a physical plastic card. These electronic wallets can store credit and debit cards, tickets, membership, loyalty and healthcare cards. Apple iPhone users know this functionality as Apple Pay, while Google Pay and Samsung Pay are available on Android phones. You can download digital wallets from the App Store for Apple or the Play Store for Android.

payment using google pay
© Unsplash/Clay Banks

What is the most-used digital wallet in Australia? 

Research conducted in 2023 by global data and business intelligence platform Statista found that the most used mobile payment method in Australia was Apple Pay, while WeChat Pay was the least used. 

Are digital wallets secure? 

Digital wallets provide enhanced security via biometric authentication such as fingerprint or facial recognition which can replace the traditional PIN entry. University of New South Wales also explains those using digital wallets enjoy further security features. For example, digital wallets use a device-specific number and unique transaction code for each purchase and do not share card numbers or CCV numbers with the merchant. Rather, digital wallet transactions utilise a tokenised credit card number that essentially acts as a virtual credit card number that exists alongside your physical card ensuring your details aren’t shared with anyone. This is beneficial as, if the merchant’s transaction information were to be hacked, your details wouldn’t be compromised. Digital wallets also have age restrictions to prevent children from adding a card to their smartphone. Apple Pay requires users to be older than 13 years, and Google Pay has a minimum age of  16 years.

phone with digital wallet open on screen
© Unsplash/CardMapr.nl

Seven reasons you should use a digital wallet while travelling 

  1. Digital wallets can be used overseas while travelling provided the merchant has contactless payment facilities.
  2. Payments made via digital wallets typically require biometric identification such as fingerprint or face identification, a passcode or two-factor authentication, making them more secure. 
  3. Card information held and used in digital wallets is encrypted, reducing the potential of your personal information being leaked, hacked or illegally obtained. 
  4. Digital wallets do not store or share your personal card information with the merchant. 
  5. Depending on your financial institution, if you lose your physical plastic debit or credit card, you may still be able to use the card in your digital wallet.
  6. Recent transactions on your card are immediately viewable in your digital wallet. 
  7. Digital wallet transactions can be made on your phone or smartwatch, reducing the need to carry a wallet or physical cards. 

Read more: 
29 of the best travel apps to download now
Everything you need to know about travel insurance
How to skip the security check line at Heathrow Airport
Six ways to make money back on travel with Cashrewards

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