Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Digital Wallets Work


Author's Note

Eventually, digital will complete its takeover and we'll all be left using virtual money. Whether that's a good thing remains to be seen. In the meantime, we all fumble with cash and checks, both of which are remnants of a pre-digital economy and are primitive (and sometimes aggravating) simply by the nature of their design. Digital, of course, will have its own set of frustrations, and until we all confront them, we won't know whether they're worth the trouble of giving up cash. But after dealing with paper money for most of my life, I, for one, would be just fine if I never again had to visit an ATM.

Related Articles

Sources

  • Bonnington, Christina. "When Will Your Smartphone Really Replace Your Wallet?" Wired.com. Sept. 5, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/09/when-smartphone-replace-wallet/
  • Brockett, Sharna. "The Digital Wallet and the Future of Payments." Intuit Blog. Nov. 7, 2011. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://blog.intuit.com/money/the-digital-wallet-and-the-future-of-payments-infographic/
  • Burgess, Rick. "Google Wants to Digitize Your Wallet, Tickets, Passes and More." Techspot.com. Aug. 28, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.techspot.com/news/49949-google-wants-to-digitize-your-wallet-tickets-passes-and-more.html
  • Carrington, Denee. "The Square-Starbucks Deal Will Accelerate Digital Wallet Adoption." Forbes.com. Aug. 8, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.forbes.com/sites/forrester/2012/08/08/the-square-starbucks-deal-will-accelerate-digital-wallet-adoption/
  • Carrington, Denee. "The Digital Wallet Wars are the Next Phase of the Payments Industry Transformation." Forbes.com. Aug. 2, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.forbes.com/sites/forrester/2012/08/02/the-digital-wallets-wars-are-the-next-phase-of-the-payments-industry-transformation/
  • Cheng, Roger. "PayPal Brings Digital Wallet to Merchants through Discover." CNET. Aug. 22, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57497979-94/paypal-brings-digital-wallet-to-merchants-through-discover/
  • Eaton, Kit. "Google, ISIS Plotting the Downfall of the Magnetic Strip Credit Card." Fastcompany.com. May 25, 2011. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.fastcompany.com/1755262/google-isis-plotting-downfall-magnetic-strip-credit-card
  • Henn, Steve. "Your New Digital Wallet: In the Cloud but Still Tethered to Fees." NPR. June 22, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2012/06/22/155496245/your-new-digital-wallet-in-the-cloud-but-still-tethered-to-fees
  • Martellaro, John. "The Digital Wallet War is Heating up." Macobserver.com. Aug. 27, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/the_digital_wallet_war_is_heating_up/
  • McGarvey, Robert. "Analyst: Visa's V.me is a Digital Wallet Contender." Cutimes.com. Sept. 7, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.cutimes.com/2012/09/07/analyst-visas-vme-is-a-digital-wallet-contender
  • Newman, Jared. "The Digital Wallet is Starting to Take Shape." TIME Techland. Aug. 30, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://techland.time.com/2012/08/30/the-digital-wallet-is-starting-to-take-shape/
  • Newton, Casey. "Apple's Passbook App a Step Toward Digital Wallet." San Francisco Gate. June 17, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Apple-s-Passbook-app-a-step-toward-digital-wallet-3639514.php
  • O'Grady, Jason. "First Look: iCache Geode Digital Wallet for iPhone (Verdict: Cool, but Half-Baked." Zdnet.com. July 25, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.zdnet.com/first-look-icache-geode-digital-wallet-for-iphone-verdict-cool-but-half-baked-7000001440/
  • Reardon, Marguerite. "Is NFC Killing Google Wallet?" CNET. May 25, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57441842-94/is-nfc-killing-google-wallet/
  • Sarno, David. "Apps are Helping Smartphones Become Digital Wallets." LA Times. June 24, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/24/business/la-fi-digital-wallet-20120624/2
  • Schultz, Steve, "What is a Digital Wallet and Why Should You Care?" Huffington Post. Aug. 29, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-schultz/what-is-a-digital-wallet_b_1840660.html
  • Suciu, Peter. "Adoption of Digital Wallets Faces Hurdles." USA Today. Oct. 24, 2011. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/basics/story/2011-10-16/cnbc-digital-money/50774072/1
  • Svensson, Peter. "Digital 'Wallets' Proliferate at Cell Phone Show." Yahoo News. May 10, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://news.yahoo.com/digital-wallets-proliferate-cellphone-show-215032239--finance.html
  • Visa Security Sense. "Digital Wallet Security." (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.visasecuritysense.com/en_US/_media/digital-wallet-best-practices.pdf
  • Yurcan, Brian. "Will Mobile Wallets Replace Their Traditional Counterparts?" Banktech.com. March 20, 2012. (Sept. 14, 2012) http://www.banktech.com/payments-cards/232602766

More to Explore