Mobile Wallet 101

What is a Mobile Wallet?

Let’s take a closer look at what a Mobile Wallet is. What features are you going to want or need? We will discuss the features of today’s most popular mobile wallets, and help you find which one will fit your lifestyle best. 

Mobile wallets are apps that use the same or higher levels of security as a credit card to let you pay from your phone. The app encrypts your card data and gives the merchant a transaction number. The merchant gets paid and your credit card information stays secure. It’s like being able to use PayPal for more than online shopping. Other features and benefits vary from mobile wallet to mobile wallet, but experts agree that mobile wallets are overall more secure than traditional wallets. 

Mobile wallet apps are becoming increasingly popular, it can be difficult to know which app will fit your needs best. Follow the mobile wallet guide, from DirectPointe and DirectPointe’s CEO James Martinos, and see which one fits your life best.   

Apple Pay

Apple Pay and the Mobile Apple Card are available in the Wallet app on iOS devices. While Apple Pay can be used in stores, and for the stores that don’t have Apple Pay a physical titanium card is available and backed through MasterCard.  

Unique Features:

Most e-wallet companies link personal cards and other bank accounts to your mobile account. Under the wallet app, Apple Pay does still provide the linking feature as well as the opportunity to apply for an Apple card. The Apple Card provides low-interest rates and 24/7 text support. There are zero fees to use the card. Apple Card has a cash card, also part of the wallet iOS app, that provides and stores cashback that can be used instantly. Apple Card will help track spending by categorizing purchases. All payments are due on the last day of the month. If you don’t pay the full amount due Apple will show you how much you’ll owe in interest to help you make payment decisions. 

If you don’t remember making a purchase Apple will show you the exact location the purchase was made in the Maps app. You can quickly report fraud purchases directly on the app. Money transfer is available through messages, but money can only be transferred between iOS devices. Money transfer messages are only available in the United States.

Google Pay

Android Pay has become Google Pay, with many of the features and benefits remaining the same. As with Android Pay, Google Pay is only available on Android devices. Google Pay links credit cards, debit cards, and bank accounts and encrypts your information during transactions.

Unique features:

Not only can you send money through Google pay, but you can also request money, a feature currently only available in the United States. Google Pay has the added security feature of being able to easily lock your account from another device if your phone is lost or stolen; which is a feature also available on most mobile wallet apps. 

The Google Pay app does not have to be open on your phone to make an in-store transaction.  Placing your unlocked phone over the transaction terminal will complete the Google Pay transaction automatically. You can also use Google Pay with in-app and online transactions as well.

Samsung Pay

In the 2018 Cnet Samsung Pay vs Google Pay vs Apple Pay, Samsung Pay was accepted more places and still is. Samsung Pay is compatible with two versions of security. NFC and MST, NFC is what most mobile wallets use and a more advanced security option. MST is a more traditional form of security, so more locations have terminals that will accept Samsung Pay. Even terminals without a scan top can accept Samsung Pay by holding your mobile phone on the card swiping side of the device. 

Unique features:

Samsung Pay requires you to link your current credit/debit cards or bank accounts. Likewise, the app is preloaded on Samsung smartphones, and all you have to do is swipe up and unlock your phone and you’re ready to pay with the Samsung Pay app.   

NFC vs MST security:

NFC is the equivalent of inserting security chipped credit or debit cards into the transaction terminal; while, MST is the equivalent of swiping a credit or debit cards through the transaction terminal. MST security is available in more locations because it has been available longer than NFC. MST security is what makes Samsung Pay the most accepted mobile wallet app available. 


Venmo is not a traditional mobile wallet, but it is the fastest growing money transfer app. It can be and is used in business, among family, and friends to send and receive money from accounts linked to your Venmo app. With easy to use and convenient features, like the ability to link to an UBER account to make paying for and splitting the cost of rideshare simple. 

How it works:

After selecting the right person through the ID system, scanning the user’s QR code or typing the user’s ID, enter the desired amount and leave something in the memo line. The memo line does require something, but that can be as simple and as fun as an emoji. Then send the transfer. If you have a current Venmo balance from transfers received, that balance will be used first, but only if the balance will cover the entire transfer. If the account balance is too low to cover the transfer you must select a payment option from your linked cards and accounts. Venmo is owned by PayPal, we will talk a closer at PayPal later.    

Venmo Debit Card:

What happens with the money received through Venmo? There are two options, you can transfer the balance to one of your linked accounts, or you can apply for the Venmo debit card. The debit card is supported by MasterCard and pulls funds from your received balance as if it were cash. The debit card is only available in the United States.


The PayPal app is another money transfer app; however, PayPal has a strong online-shopping presence that most mobile wallets do not have. PayPal lets you transfer money to others and make secure online purchases. As with most mobile wallets and accounts, PayPal links to your personal accounts. Then encrypts your information during online purchases and money transfers. 

Unique features:

If an order arrives with the wrong item PayPal will refund your money with purchase protection. PayPal is also convenient security. Instead of typing in the card information manually, PayPal account holders can enter their usernames and passwords to complete online transactions.

Wrap up

Mobile Wallets have great security features, but they are not immune to being hacked. To keep your mobile wallet more secure follow these tips: don’t complete transactions on public Wifi, make sure you can shut down your mobile wallet account remotely, and keep your phone password protected. 

Depending on your phone and transaction needs there is a mobile wallet fit for you. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay current on your tech knowledge.

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