Digital Wallets: Buddy, Can You Spare Some Digital Change?

The digital era calls for easier connections than plastic money cards will allow. Enter the digital wallet; a simple, portable device with a large amount of storage (6GB capacity) and a built-in processor capable of copying all the contents of a flash card. Also known broadly as “Internet payment services,” digital wallets provide a way for consumers to order online products and services and side step entering sensitive information such as credit card numbers and shipping addresses.

Digital wallets are also a boon to the modern photographer. Gone are the bulky notebooks and purchasing of large numbers of memory cards of yesteryear; now photographers can shoot thousands of images using just one storage device. These electronic packages first emerged in the 1990s and slowly morphed from their placement on the desktops of personal computers to being compatible with wireless and other mobile devices and stored on a central server run either by an Internet Service provider or a digital wallet vendor.

Digital wallet vendors make their money either by charging a commission to the retailer on every purchase made involving a digital wallet or via merchants who can opt to pay a flat fee for accepting the vendor’s wallet in their transactions. The digital wallet vendor becomes the intermediary between a company and its customers and in this way, customers do not have to submit credit card information each time they make a purchase. The purchase order is instead sent to the digital wallet vendor where it is discretely charged to the customer’s account.

The problems with e-commerce and the benefits of technology are hopefully catching up with each other. It would seem that a digital wallet could potentially take a significant bite out of Internet-related crimes like fraud and identity theft. The true cyber effects of this product remain to be seen, but in the meantime, in between time…

Buddy, can you spare some digital change?

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