What is a digital wallet?

In the context of services like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay, a digital wallet refers to a mobile payment system that allows users to store their payment card information securely on their smartphones or other compatible devices. These digital wallets enable users to make contactless payments in physical stores, as well as online and in-app purchases, without needing to present their physical payment cards.

Here's how they work:

  1. Apple Pay: Apple Pay is Apple's digital wallet service. Users can add their credit or debit card information to the Apple Wallet app on their iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Mac computers. The information is stored securely using encryption, and users can authenticate payments using biometric features like Face ID or Touch ID. Payments are made by holding the device near a contactless payment terminal and authorizing the transaction through biometric authentication. Apple Pay, iPhone, and Apple Watch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
  2. Samsung Pay: Samsung Pay is Samsung's equivalent service, available on select Samsung devices. What sets Samsung Pay apart is its compatibility with both NFC (Near Field Communication) and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technologies. This allows Samsung Pay to work with a wider range of payment terminals, including older ones that lack NFC support. Users can add their cards to the Samsung Pay app, and payments are authorized through PIN, fingerprint, or facial recognition. Samsung Pay is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
  3. Google Pay: Google Pay is Google's digital wallet platform. It allows users to store payment card information on their Android devices, and make payments in stores, online, and within apps. Google Pay uses NFC for contactless payments and offers added security through features like biometric authentication and device passcodes. Google Pay is a trademark of Google LLC.