Consumer Reports: "digital wallet" apps - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Consumer Reports: "digital wallet" apps

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(WMC TV) - Over the last year, people are starting to pay for stuff by waving, sliding, or tapping their smart phones.

More and more apps are offering different ways to pay. Techies call them "digital wallets."

Consumer Reports took a look at several to see whether you really can leave your wallet at home.

Starbucks is one of the hundreds of thousands of businesses nationwide that have 
signed up for Square Wallet. Square Wallet is compatible with a number of iPhone and Android 
models, and Consumer Reports said it's pretty easy to use.

But other digital wallets are not as widely accessible. 

For instance, Google Wallet and Isis aren't available on iPhones and only work with 
some service providers. They also require a wireless technology that only some stores 
can use.

Some digital wallet apps will only link with a few credit cards. So you may need to link to a prepaid card, which can incur additional fees and don't offer the same protections as a credit card.

Prepaid cards, whether in your hand or on your phone, have no guaranteed protections against unauthorized transactions, so you could lose whatever balance is on the card.

Consumer Reports said use an app such as Square Wallet that links to a credit card for the best consumer protections. Just be sure to report a lost phone or suspicious activity to the credit-card company. Also, alert your cellular carrier so that it can disable the phone if it has been lost or stolen. 

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