August 2022 Financial wellness blog banner, mobile view, Travis CU

How to Use a Mobile Wallet

As technology advances, using cash for everyday purchases is increasingly becoming outdated. There are many ways to pay digitally, and in this article, we will cover how you can use your Travis Credit Union account more securely to pay, without the need to carry cash.

What is a Mobile Wallet?

“Mobile Wallet” refers to a feature that allows you to store payment cards, such as credit and gift cards, on your mobile phone. Whether you have Apple, Samsung or Google devices, you can use your phone to store your card information and later pay for transactions where mobile pay is accepted.

Mobile Wallet is a convenient and secure way to pay for goods and services. With the added protection of Mobile Wallet’s tokenization, your physical card is not stored on your phone, nor is your card information shared with the merchant, giving you peace of mind that your personal information is secure.

Contactless Payments

Contactless payment methods are those such as “tap-to-pay” where you either use your card with the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, mobile device with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology or otherwise bring your device near the point-of-sale terminal to pay. This is considered a quick and easy way to pay since it does not require PIN verification.

Currently, this technology is not fully adopted in the U.S. market but it is making its way into financial institutions across the country. Some examples of contactless payment include Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

Chip Payments

Most of us are now familiar with chip payments as they have become the norm for newly issued debit and credit cards today. With the addition of an embedded microchip, the chip payment method can be more secure along with the PIN verification of any transaction. The transaction is processed using the “insert” feature in the POS (Point-of-sale) system rather than the traditional “swipe” we were so accustomed to.

These types of chip payment transactions are far more secure since they generate a unique code with every transaction to ensure that your card information is protected, something that swiping cannot do.

Zelle Payments

What if you are not making a purchase in person, but want to send money remotely?

Zelle is a frictionless, digital way to pay found at many financial institutions. Travis Credit Union offers this free service so that you can send money fast and easily to others across the U.S. who have Zelle. At TCU, Zelle is already embedded in your online and mobile banking which makes signing up a breeze. With this feature you can send, request or even split checks for a night out or coffee. All you need to send funds to Zelle is the recipient’s email address or U.S. phone number.

Keeping You Safe

When paying with these modern technologies, people naturally fear fraud. Whether it is through Chip Card, Mobile Wallet or Contactless, the thought of their information being exposed electronically is what drives that fear. Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) came together in 2015 to create a new standard for mobile payments, and one of the ways this was encouraged was a shift in fraudulent transaction liability, from card issuers over to the party that has not invested in chip technology, (generally the merchant.) This has resulted in much wider adoption of EMV Chip technology globally. Studies have shown that these methods have been effective in reducing fraud since their creation.

“Chip cards have significantly reduced card-present fraud. In December 2018, Visa reported that in the three-year period since the EMV liability shift, chip card technology has reduced card-present counterfeit payment fraud losses by 80% among merchants who upgraded to EMV.” (Source: FIS)

When making an in-person payment, Contactless, Chip and Mobile Wallet all offer the protection of not needing to swipe your card using its magnetic strip, which could be compromised with card-skimming techniques. Instead, they use tokenization, which makes it more difficult for fraudsters to gain access to the essential information stored within the magnetic strip. The result? A safer way for you to pay.

Travis Credit Union is always working to stay ahead of fraudsters and protect our members. You can count on Mobile Wallet, and the various payment methods explained above, as secure ways to transact today.

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