Explaining How Digital Wallets Work
The earliest evidence of a currency dates back five thousand years ago, the Mesopotamian shekel. So, for millennia, physical coins were the main form of payment around the planet.
Banknote-like instruments first got developed in 7th century China, and electronic money transfers debuted in 1871 when Western Union introduced its electronic fund system.
Today, we live in an online-powered world, where life as we know it would stop if the internet were to crash even for a little while. Payments going through thanks to an interconnected computer network began in 1994, and currently, they are the dominant transaction form for every purpose imaginable.
People are enjoying online gambling using their Cash App. They send money to each other via Venmo and pay their bills through Google Pay. Therefore, it is clear that digital wallets are taking over, becoming the principal payment method everywhere.
Table of Content
- What Is a Digital Wallet Exactly?
- How Do They Function?
- What Security Measures Do They Implement?
- The Benefits of Using Digital Wallets.
- What Are the Best Digital Wallets on the Market?
- Crypto Wallets Explained
- The Wrap Up
What Is a Digital Wallet Exactly?
A digital wallet is a software payment solution that uses a web interface or a smartphone app to facilitate payments from and to an online account. These wallets allow users to securely store funds in them and conduct financial transactions from anywhere, at any time.
Aside from monetary funds, digital wallets can also stockpile things such as e-vouchers, loyalty points, event tickets, and various other data.
How Do They Function?
In essence, they act like gateways from a user’s online account to the vendor/person they are transacting with for whatever purpose. Some connect to a user’s bank account, while others store funds on-platform. Whatever the case may be, they enable in-store and online payments.
Technologies utilized by digital wallets to conduct contactless money transfers include magnetic secure transmissions (MST), near-field communication (NFC), and QR codes. Depending on the wallet, it can utilize one of these or a combination of two.
What Security Measures Do They Implement?
Yes, their key built-in security feature is something called tokenization. It is the same thing that credit cards use.
Tokenization is the procedure of exchanging sensitive data for non-sensitive equivalents that have no value on their own.
Basically, when a wallet owner tries to pay at a merchant, the software reaches out to a remote service server which gives it a token, which assumes the role of that user’s credit card/bank account number. The merchant then contacts the same service to confirm the transaction, and it verifies the validity of the token, allowing the transfer to go through.
An added layer of authentication for a transaction to get processed may get sometimes required. That may include biometrics such as facial recognition or a fingerprint scan. Yet, most often, nothing more than a PIN gets demanded.
The Benefits of Using Digital Wallets
The chief positives of using digital wallets are that physical card owners can switch to them at no cost. But, they are also super-efficient, meaning supply convenience, something everyone craves these days.
Furthermore, payment apps and web-based solutions use high-end encryption. That is a technology that wraps data in an unhackable cover that even the world’s most powerful computers would struggle for decades to crack. And, even if someone intercepts a token during payment, it is useless, as it holds no account and user info.
What Are the Best Digital Wallets on the Market?
Per most online polls, no one wallet reigns supreme over all others specification-wise. Most of them work identically, so it is primarily their market penetration, fees, and usability, that define their appeal.
The top five picks are usually Google Pay, Venmo, Apple Pay, Cash App, and PayPal.
Crypto Wallets Explained
Crypto wallets operate, more or less, in a similar way as the options discussed above. Nonetheless, they hold digital forms of money, and their transactions get processed on blockchains, digital ledgers that no one person/organization keeps, with which no one can tamper.
These wallets divide into three groups. These are paper, software, and hardware ones. The latter is the most secure yet least practical choice, as user coins get stored on a physical battery-less device.
Paper wallets have many flaws, and they are nothing more than printed QR codes, while software options are the crypto mobile/web equivalents to PayPal.
It should get noted that not all crypto wallets can hold all digital coins. They can only store a select few.
The Wrap Up
Digital wallets are not the future but the present. Getting one is a straightforward process that usually lasts only a few minutes, representing a practical payment solution for today’s online world.
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