What is a digital wallet?

closeup women using smartphone at sunset

Tips for using your phone at checkout

Data breaches have become big news, with large retailers getting hacked for customer information like credit card numbers.

The good news is that thanks to new technologies like credit card chip readers and payment apps on your smart phone, your credit card information is safer than ever.

The real concern for many people: How do you use all this stuff???

Here’s a quick rundown on using smart phone apps like Apple Pay, Samsung, Pay, Android Pay, and Visa Checkout and why it’s a good idea to take advantage of the extra security they provide.

Why are smart phone apps a safer way to pay?

It’s easy to think that technology might sacrifice security for the sake of convenience. In this case, the apps make paying easier AND safer.

Every time you use one of the digital pay apps, it generates a new, unique number for use in that transaction only. That means the merchant – or anyone trying to steal your credit card information from that merchant – never sees your real credit card number. That transaction code cannot be used again for another purchase.

How do they work?

The apps may not work on older phones. See the chart to figure out if your phone will support this technology.

different payment methods you can do on your smart phone


Once you’ve confirmed your phone will support a digital payment method:

  1. Get the app. It may be pre-installed on your phone. If not, download the app that matches your phone type from your phone’s app store.
  1. Activate the app. Sign in to your account. The app may prompt you to create an account, if necessary.
  1. Add security measures. Enter a PIN and consider scanning your fingerprint for authentication purposes.
  1. Add your credit card information. Using the camera on your smart phone, take a picture of your credit card. The app will walk you through the process. Add as many credit cards as you wish. You can choose a default and just swipe the phone screen at checkout to choose a different one, if you prefer.
  1. Add gift cards, loyalty cards, debit cards and almost anything with a bar code. Once you get used to paying with your phone app, add gift cards and more to your digital wallet for additional convenience.
  1. Use it at the store. At the register, hold your phone over the payment box where you would normally slide your credit card. Gently hold your thumb over the button at the bottom of your smart phone to enter your fingerprint authorizing the purchase. You don’t even need to open the app.


State Bank of Cross Plains supports the payment apps for all three major smart phone companies – iPhone, Android, and Samsung – as well as supports Visa Checkout on our bank-issued credit cards. Visit our website for more information.

Member FDIC.


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