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What’s the Deal with Digital Wallets?

Photo of a person using their iPhone to pay for groceries by tapping their phone to the digital reader at the checkout counter at a grocery store.

Did you know your mobile phone could act as your wallet? Digital wallets are gaining in popularity around the world because of their convenience and security. So what are they and how can you start benefiting? Here’s an overview of how digital wallets work.


What is a digital wallet?

A digital wallet is an app that stores your credit, debit and gift card information in a secure digital form. Digital wallets are convenient because they often make it unnecessary for you to carry all of your cards, and they can be used on your tablet, phone and/or smart watch.

Some examples of digital wallets include Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay, which allow users to upload credit and debit card details into their mobile devices to make in-store and some online purchases.

How do digital wallets work?

Once the app is installed, input your card information and authenticate your identity via PIN, fingerprint or face scan. You can use your digital wallet with participating merchants by simply opening the app and holding your phone or device over the Point of Sale terminal to pay. Apple Pay and Google Pay keep lists of participating merchants on their websites. Samsung Pay allows Samsung phone owners to use their cards at most merchant locations because the phone can mimic the magnetic stripe on a card.

Look for the following logos at checkout to determine if a merchant accepts digital wallets:

Apple pay, Samsung pay, and Google Pay logos
Samsung Pay will likely work at merchant terminals even if the logo is not displayed.

Are digital wallets safe?

Believe it or not, digital wallets are one of the most secure payment methods available today. Digital wallets are more fraud-proof than your physical card due to tokenization, which replaces card account numbers with unique alpha/numeric codes that retain all of the essential information without compromising the actual card number. Even if a merchant gets hacked, your credit or debit card number is not compromised because your card number was not used.

Enter your Hawaii State FCU’s credit and debit cards into your digital wallet for quicker, easier and more secure checkouts! If you’re not a Hawaii State FCU cardholder, check with your financial institutions to ensure they support digital wallets on their cards. Just be sure to keep your phone charged if you plan to use your digital wallet!

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