Drop The Wallet: Is It Safe to Store Credit Card Info on Your Phone?

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  • Physical wallets are shrinking as more people opt for digital wallets.
  • It is still important to carry physical IDs and some cash to pay for small transactions. 
  • Experts recommend having no more than three cards, with one a debit card.

With the rise of digital payments and the increasing popularity of contactless transactions, people are becoming more inclined toward storing their credit card information on their smartphones. But is it safe to store sensitive data on your phone? Some states even allow you to upload your driver's license or state ID cards to your Apple Wallet. Does this mean we don't need to carry a physical wallet anymore? Let's take a look. 

How safe are digital wallets?

There is no denying the convenience of having your credit card information on your phone. Especially when you're in a hurry or need to make a quick payment, it saves you the hassle of rummaging through your wallet for your credit card. However, if someone gets hold of your phone, they can access all of the stored financial information you have. 

So it's always advisable to have a PIN or password lock on your phone and to use biometric verification, such as face recognition or fingerprint scanning, to ensure extra security. It's also important to choose a reputable and trustworthy digital wallet provider, and to set up strong passwords and two-factor authentication. It's recommended that you avoid using public wifi when accessing digital wallets, as these networks are often vulnerable to hacking attempts. While digital wallets offer convenience and flexibility, it's important to take safety seriously to protect your hard-earned money.

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What should you carry in your wallet?

While more people are using digital wallets, it is still important to carry some cash and physical identification, since only a handful of states allow digital IDs. When it comes to the number of cards, cash, and ID you should carry in your wallet, financial advisors suggest carrying just the essentials. According to the Wall Street Journal, financial experts say "most people need no more than $30," as it'll come in handy for smaller purchases from merchants that don't accept digital payments. 

It's best to limit the number of cards you carry, especially credit cards, as it reduces the risk of loss or theft. The recommended number of cards to have is no more than three -- with at least one a debit card. And as for your ID, your driver's license or passport should suffice for most situations. Those who carry around too many items in their wallets are at greater risk of identity. The less you carry, the better.

Apart from choosing the right amount of cards, cash, and ID, it's also important to take some precautionary measures to safeguard your wallet. Make sure you're not carrying any unnecessary information, such as Social Security cards or birth certificates, which can be used to steal your identity. Experts told the WSJ that people should "Consider slipping a small piece of paper with your phone number in your wallet in case it gets lost. That way, whoever finds it can contact you."

Storing credit card information on your phone may seem like a convenient option, but it's important to take security measures to safeguard your digital identity. While carrying a limited number of cards, cash, and ID will reduce the risk of loss or theft, it's equally essential to enable password-protection on your phone, enable biometric verification, and take extra precautions with the information you carry. Follow these tips, and you'll be well-equipped to handle any financial situation while keeping your information safe and secure.

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