Digital Wallet
Digital Wallet
Why carry around dozens of cards in your wallet when your phone can store them all digitally?

Only 27 percent of store purchases were made with cash in 2011, a number that’s projected to continue declining in the future, according to the Huffington Post. Credit card transactions accounted for 66 percent of in-store purchases. It looks like plastic might soon be following cash out of store doors, however, due to the digital wallet. With this new league of smartphones that have powerful processors, fast Internet connections and tons of storage, it makes sense to streamline the way you buy. These apps, primarily released through financial institutions, stores and payment processors, give you a way to free up your pocket or purse space for something other than a wallet.

Banking Applications

Venmo — When you have a lot of friends out to dinner, and someone wants to pay the entire bill on their credit card to get rewards points, what do you do when you don’t have cash on you? It’s simple when you’re using your smartphone as a digital wallet. Hongkiat recommends Venmo to send money to your friends through the Venmo account, which is linked to a credit card or bank account. You can leave the cash and cards at home, while making sure you aren’t running up a huge tab with your friends.

Venmo app image by dpstyles™ via Flickr.

Bitcoin Wallet — If you’re using Bitcoin, the Bitcoin Wallet app makes your balance available to you directly on your smartphone. You don’t have to head back to your computer to pay for anything in this decentralized currency, and you can pair it up with other Bitcoin-related apps to keep an eye on the value of the currency and any major developments that might affect the value of your coins. A virtual currency in a virtual wallet is a rather fitting combination, and the app itself is well-designed for its purpose.

Store Card Applications

Card Star — The amount of store cards that end up in a wallet or purse these days borders on downright ridiculous. Every single store has some sort of rewards program, mostly because it gives the store plenty of market research on your buying habits. CardStar has support for hundreds of existing programs, and you can also manually enter in your information for anything it doesn’t happen to support.

Key Ring Rewards Card — Key Ring Rewards Cards scans the bar codes on each of your cards and stores it in your smartphone. When you need to hand over a store card, you bring up the bar code on the app, and hand the phone over to get scanned. It works just as well as the card, without the soul crushing amount of wallet space to take up. You can also share cards with others, in case your family needs to easily access any store card when they’re out and about.

About Albert Lester

Al teaches economics and business at his local high school. He blogs about business, finance, teaching and the economy in his spare time.

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