Mobile wallets have grown in popularity in recent years. Today, mobile wallets account for a great deal of transactions made around the world. In fact, mobile wallets are estimated to complete hundreds of billions of dollars in transactions around the world by the end of 2013. The ease of carrying money to use on a mobile device further increases their value. However, mobile wallets are not without fault. There are mobile wallet mistakes you want to watch out for to avoid problems with using this payment option.
The four models for mobile payments include direct mobile billing, contactless near field communication, mobile web payments, and premium SMS based transactional payments. More merchants are opting to expand payment methods to allow mobile wallets as a way to complete a transaction. As you join in on the trend of using mobile wallets, be careful to avoid the following mistakes.
1. Linking a payment option to a checking account with a low balance.
Avoid linking a mobile wallet to a checking account with a low balance. You might spend a great deal of money before you realize you have depleted all of your funds, or worse, overdrawn your account. It's very easy to spend and to see money disappear right before your very eyes. If you have a checking account specifically designed for leisure expenses, then you may want to link it to your mobile wallet when you go shopping. Monitor any account linked to track your spending habits.
2. Putting your information on another person's phone.
Never log into a third party service on a friend's mobile device. A friend could accidentally ring up charges on your account without even knowing, as it is easy to forget you put your payment information on their phone. When you feel the need to pay for something, do it with your own mobile wallet.
3. Completing a transaction with an non-reputable organization.
Keep a receipt of every transaction you complete. For every location you use your mobile wallet in person you want to feel comfortable with making a payment. There are some retail shops or small vendors at the mall, for example, that accept this form of payment, but then take the information from your mobile wallet and use it to create a fake credit card with your information. These places are clever, as they wait months before they use your information to start making charges on your account. They usually pack up shop when they get this scheme going, so it may be very difficult to track them down.
4. Not closing out.
There are hackers out there that like to fish around for data in order to collect bank account, credit card, and other sensitive information people carry in their mobile wallet. This has happened to people using Google Wallet and other similar mobile wallet services.
Log out of any accounts you have signed in to and close the program as soon as you are done completing a transaction. Be weary of leaving your account open after making mobile wallet payments because you could give criminals a chance to download your bank information and make fraudulent charges on your credit or debit card. Although these programs have safeguards to prevent your information from being at risk, there are still people that have the ability to steal it.
5. Forgetting to check your account balances.
Preventing fraud is easier the sooner you realize someone has stolen your identity. Having a credit card linked to your virtual wallet could make you forget to check the activity on your actual bank account. It is suggested to at least review your credit card statement once a month. Monitor all of your accounts to ensure no one has stolen any sensitive information and is putting it to use.
This article originally appeared on MyBankTracker.