Mobile wallets use tokenisation and two-factor authentication which means that they might be safer than the physical wallet in your pocket.
What is tokenisation?
You might have heard about skimming devices which read your credit or debit card's magnetic strip, and steal your data in order to use your card information to commit fraud.
When you pay with a mobile wallet, your sensitive data (like your credit card number, banking number and routing number) is replaced with a temporary, randomly generated, alphanumerical 'token'.
Because of this token, your card information is stored securely and isn't shared with the merchant, helping to protect you from breaches, fraud and theft.
What if my device is stolen?
If you lose your device, or if it's stolen, the risk is that a thief will be able to access your mobile wallet. That's why it's important to enable two-factor authentication and to keep your device locked when you're not using it.
As well as entering your login details, 2FA asks you to provide another credential - like a one-time passcode, a fingerprint or to use facial recognition - to do certain things in your mobile wallet.
With 2FA enabled, someone who does have your login details will find it more difficult to spend money in your mobile wallet app because of the extra protection that 2FA provides.
Keeping your device locked
It's really important that you lock your device with a passcode or - even better - with biometric authentication when you're not using it.
When you need to use your fingerprint or facial recognition to unlock your device, it's much more difficult for someone else to gain access and to use the applications you've installed.
If you do lose your device
Contact your bank as soon as possible if your mobile wallet device is lost or stolen.
It's also worth downloading apps that help you find your device and and those that can wipe your data remotely to help prevent unauthorised transactions.