Security and convenience are what you’ve come to expect when it comes to paying with plastic. What if you could have security, reliability and convenience? Companies are hard at work developing new devices and ways to pay, especially ones that’ll allow you to leave your wallet at home. Here’s a look at some new and futuristic payment technology:

Mobile wallet apps

Cut the clutter by storing credit (and debit) cards on your smartphone, tablet or smartwatch with apps such as Apple Pay™, Android Pay™ and Samsung Pay®.

Security is the name of the game for wallet apps. Every purchase requires either your fingerprint or a passcode to authenticate your identity. Only the last four digits of your card number are stored on the device. Whenever you make a purchase no identifying information is used. Instead, a unique one-time number is generated for each purchase.

Apple Pay and Android Pay require a terminal with near-field communication (NFC) to work, while Samsung Pay can be used at most registers and standard payment terminals. Near-field communication lets two devices, in this case your smartphone and a payment terminal where you’d normally swipe a card, communicate. To active NFC and to use a mobile wallet, you’ll need the mobile app installed and loaded with your card information and to hold your device a few inches over the payment terminal. Note: a payment terminal that requires you to fully insert your card into a slot won’t work with mobile wallets.

We offer all three digital wallets so you can download the app and leave your cards at home. To get started, check out our digital wallets page for instructions. Not sure which mobile wallet is right for you? It all depends on what phone you have. iPhone® uses Apple Pay, while Android operating smartphones access Android Pay. Samsung Pay can be downloaded on an eligible Galaxy smartphone.

Smart credit cards

If you don’t want to risk your phone dying, possibly leaving you without a way to pay, you can replace your cards with a single smart card (not to be confused with EMV chip cards). Smart cards are the same size and thickness as a standard credit card, but can be used to consolidate all your cards into one! Each of your cards can be uploaded via a mobile app. Before you make a purchase, you select which card you want to use (typically via a small button on the card). A small display or LED lights indicate which loaded card you’re currently using.

You’ll be able to make purchases at any kind of payment terminal. Smart cards typically use standard magnetic stripes, so it looks like a regular card in your wallet. Some smart cards also support NFC and EMV chips, but exact features vary by the product.

Smart card providers take lengths to ensure your identity by requiring your name and the last four digits of your Social Security number. In most cases, you’ll be asked identity-proofing questions (provided by credit bureaus) to confirm your previous addresses, employers, etc. When making purchases, most cards require a PIN or button code (a pattern of timed button presses)—though some may forgo this measure when connected to your smartphone. If your card is lost, you can either wipe it of all information or, with compatible cards, locate it via smartphone app.

Contactless wristbands

You may have used one of these if you’ve recently been to an amusement park or music festival. They look like your ordinary run of the mill wristbands, but inside the there’s a tiny chip that allows you to make payments. To use it, tap the band against a payment terminal the same way you would a mobile wallet on your smartphone and you’re good to go. This technology is brand new, but in the future, financial institution-issued wristbands may act as prepaid cards with the option to automatically refill once the balance reaches a set amount.

Contactless payments have a limit of $30 per purchase, so it’s best if they’re worn on your lighter shopping days. Perhaps when you’re biking to the store or when you’re looking to travel light.

While the tech is still pretty new, some financial institutions are looking at offering their own prepaid wristbands. They’ll be able to automatically refill once the balance reaches a set amount. This prepaid feature makes for a great first debit product for teens, plus, because it’s worn on your wrist, your teen is less likely to misplace it!

The not-too-distant future

The way we pay is rapidly evolving and there’s plenty of tech still in development. Although, it may be several years before this technology is available to us, but it’s exciting to know companies are looking at even safer and easier ways of paying. While these ideas are still quite new, they’re no less exciting:

  • Hand payments: Imagine paying with just a wave of your hand … no watch or wristband required! Think of it as a quick fingerprint scanner, but for four fingers instead of one.
  • Purchase from your car: What if gas stations, parking meters and fast-food restaurants could detect when your car is approaching and send a notification to your car’s built-in app? With just a few taps, you could have your gas, parking and food paid for without ever leaving your car or fiddling with a wallet.
  • Auto-filled fridge: Smart fridges are beginning to enter homes, but what if your fridge could detect when you’re low on food and automatically order what you need? It could be the next evolution of fridges.

As you get ready for the latest in credit technology, check out what’s available today for banking technology tools and learn more about credit card products that are available today to help you reach your financial goals!

 

Message and data rates may apply. Visit navyfederal.org for more information. Apple Pay is a trademark of Apple, Inc. iPhone is a trademark of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Android is a trademark of Google Inc. Samsung Pay is a trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., registered in the U.S. and other countries.