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Smartphones can do so much these days. You can take high-quality photos, stream movies and download music. It was only a matter of time before smartphones would find a way enhance your everyday shopping experience. Today, smartphones offer digital or mobile wallets, and just like it sounds, it’s an electronic wallet that lives in your smartphone. With digital wallets, you are able to store digital versions of your credit and debit cards on your mobile device.

But is it safe?
You can keep your cards more safe and secure, thanks to card “tokenization”, while conveniently managing your credit and debit cards with your phone.

How tokenization works.
When you register your credit or debit card to a digital wallet, your card goes through a “tokenization” process which removes your card information and generates a new “token” or code for each merchant. For example, a credit or debit card with the numbers 1234 5678 5678 1234 would become A91DF7SML9839L2ST. These generated tokens are meaningless to the bad guys, making it very challenging to reverse engineer.

Another layer of security is the two-step authentication process. To access a digital wallet, the user will have to be able to unlock the phone itself and the digital card will usually require a PIN or a fingerprint for each purchase transaction.

What if I lose my phone?
Just as you would if you were to lose your physical wallet, always report your missing credit or debit cards immediately. Install apps that will help you locate your cell phone or remotely erase your sensitive data, including your cards. Keep in mind the two-step authentication, which can include a fingerprint, will make it more challenging to access your credit or debit cards.

Mobile wallets allow you to shop with ease and confidence. To learn more about TruWest® Credit Union’s mobile wallet, click here.