Ditch the Wallet for a Mobile One - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Ditch the Wallet for a Mobile One

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Could these soon be a thing of the past? If your wallet "over flow-eth" perhaps something you already have in your pocket can eliminate the clutter all together.        

Associate Editor for Kiplingers Personal Finance Magazine, Lisa Gerstner says, "Payment methods, like credit or debit card information, coupons, um, movie tickets, boarding passes even in some wallets. So, a place where you can still store and collect them, but, use them through your phone."

Sounds easy right? You order a coffee, take out your phone, swipe it, and the transaction is made.  There are different payment apps depending on the brand of your phone and your service provider. The main problem is that many stores aren't using this technology because the apps aren't compatible.

Gerstner says, "There's Google wallet and there's Isis and those are the two big ones that are using NFC and those are still ones where there's not a lot of ways to use them. You know, with Google Wallet, you can only use it on a certain selection of Sprint phones. With Isis, you can use it with more carriers, so, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have some phones with NFC chips that carry Isis, but, Isis is only in a couple of cities which are Austin and Salt Lake City."  

A limited number of merchants accept mobile transactions, and those that do may or may not support your method of payment.  For example, American Eagle Outfitters, Jamba Juice and Toys "R" Us are among those that accept Google Wallet and PayPal.

Some wallets limit the type of debit or credit cards that you can use. Isis, for example, works only with its own prepaid card and American Express, Capital One and Chase Credit Cards.

Consumer Reports Senior Editor Jeff Blyskal says, "Part of the problem is costs the stores money to buy equipment so they have to make an investment in it. And again everybody's not using it. Then you have to train the sales people, the cashiers how to use it, and of course you have to install the equipment, keep it running."

Consumers may not be using mobile payments due to security concerns.

"Mal-security can be a downside in some ways. There's more ways to get into that wallet, you know. You don't just have to physically lose the phone to have problems. Um, if you download a bad application of any kind, not just a wallet, that could spread mal-ware through your phone, um, you know, crooks can get your information that way so you have to think a lot more on how you are going to protect your phone as well," says Gerstner.

So for now, consumers still seem to be satisfied with their low-tech, analog wallets, given the current lack of streamlined payment options and security questions.  But tech experts are predicting, over the next decade, this will become a pretty common way to pay.

Some tips for using mobile wallet apps: Make sure the app is legit, always password protect your phone and the application itself, and use a security app that will remotely disable your phone if you lose it or have it stolen.

In New York, Rick Leventhal, FOX news.

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