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How Does a Digital Wallet Help Secure Private Information?

How Does a Digital Wallet Help Secure Private Information?

June 11, 2024 9 min read

Man looking at his balance in his digital wallet.

Digital wallets may seem like something out of the future, but they are becoming a common way to pay for all kinds of items. They make it easy to securely send and receive money from friends and family and store your most sensitive financial and banking info. 

Even better, they are simple and free to set up. Within minutes, you could be using this 100% electronic way to manage your money, making purchases, and sending cash with the tap of an app. Plus, digital wallets are a secure, safe way to store and send money.

Here’s what you should know before using digital wallets, including where you can use them and how they keep your cash secure.

What Is a Digital Wallet?

A digital wallet is a piece of software or an app you can use from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. It lets you send and receive cash as electronic transactions. When you store a credit card, debit card, or bank account number in a digital wallet, you no longer have to carry the cards or a check around to make payments wherever the digital wallet is accepted.

Additional items that may get stored in a digital wallet (or “mobile wallet”) include gift cards, store loyalty cards, and membership cards. You can even store digital versions of plane tickets or concert passes in a digital wallet.

How Does a Digital Wallet Work?

Once you’ve added at least one method of payment to your digital wallet, you can use the app to buy things from merchants that accept it. The technology works in one of three ways:

  • QR codes: These are small digital pictures that appear on your phone’s screen when using the mobile wallet. The payment terminals scan this code to initiate payment.
  • Near-field communication (NFC): This technology lets you touch your phone to the payment terminal for a touchless payment experience.
  • Magnetic secure transmission (MST): This uses magnetic technology to send payment data to older, pre-chip checkout terminals.

Your digital wallet may store any number of cards and payment types, but not all stores or vendors accept it. If the cash register can only read chip-PIN cards, for example, your digital wallet won’t work. Be sure to have a backup method of payment when shopping if you don’t want to be stuck without options.  

Are Digital Wallets Safe?

If used correctly, digital wallets can be very safe, protecting your financial information in ways that using traditional payments can’t.

Imagine you are shopping in a store with your credit card and leave it on the counter or drop it on the floor. Once someone picks it up, they can swipe it for several purchases before you notice it’s missing or your bank notifies you about suspicious activity.

If you use a digital wallet, you leave your physical card at home. There’s nothing to drop or misplace. If you leave your phone behind, the person who finds it will need to unlock your device and possibly provide an additional PIN or digital wallet security confirmation to access the digital wallet app.

Digital wallets are more convenient for the owner, yet more difficult for unauthorized users to hack. They provide an additional layer (or more) of protection compared to a credit card or debit card.

Digital Wallet Privacy Features

Here’s a bit more about how security features work in a digital wallet.

Many mobile wallet apps also use biometric technology, such as thumbprint or facial recognition, to ensure that you (and only you) access the app.

How to Secure Your Digital Wallet

Even with all the security features of a digital wallet, it’s up to the owner to take smart steps to keep it protected. Some things you can do to keep your wallet safe include:

  • Use a unique, strong password you don’t use for any other app or service. Update it frequently, at least every six months or so.
  • Don’t share your passwords, PINs, or other digital wallet security information with others.
  • Update your phone and wallet apps regularly.
  • Don’t use digital apps on a public Wi-Fi network, if possible. Consider virtual private network (VPN) services when you have to use a public network.
  • Stay up to date on the latest scams and cybercrimes. Learn how to avoid phishing and never give out your digital wallet login info or app codes to others via text, email, or phone — even if they seem to be a legitimate representative of a service you use.

How Ria’s Digital Wallet Works

Ria is a fast and secure way to send and receive money, sometimes in as little as 15 minutes. The digital wallet, called Ria eWallet, lets you store your payment information directly in the app, so you can securely access it and leave your cards at home. It’s also very convenient to send money from your Ria mobile wallet app to others with a mobile wallet, even in another country.

To use the eWallet, go into the Ria app and select “Activate your eWallet.” You’ll be asked to create a six-digit PIN that only you know. (Make sure it’s not a number you use with any other app or service.)

With your eWallet activated, send money or make payments directly from the app. At stores, scan the QR code at checkout and complete a few steps to purchase items.

How to Fund a Ria Digital Wallet

Add cash to your Ria eWallet by visiting the nearest Ria location. You can deposit funds, confirm, and pay to get instant access within the app. If your Ria app is connected to a bank account, you can fund it that way, as well.

How to Take Cash From a Ria Digital Wallet

One of the perks of a digital wallet is that you never need to carry cash again or worry about losing it. So, what happens if you want cash in hand? You can still get it from your Ria eWallet.

First, go to the nearest Ria location, where you can scan your eWallet QR code. Confirm the cash withdrawal in the app, and you’ll have cash in minutes.

Digital wallets are secure ways to pay, receive, and send money, but they don’t exclude you from also using cash. They are a win-win for flexible money management. 

How to Send Money From Ria to Another Digital Wallet

To begin using this feature, open the Ria app, select the country where you wish to send money, and select how your recipient wants to receive the money. If you see a digital wallet as an option, that country has a digital wallet available.

You can also send money from your digital wallet to be received as cash at a pickup location of the receiver’s choice. Be sure to ask them which location you want to send to before you initiate the transfer. They will need to verify their identity at pickup with a government-issued photo ID that matches the name on the transaction.

How Ria Keeps Your Personal Information Safe

Like most digital wallet apps, Ria takes steps to protect your personal and financial data so you can shop or send and receive money without worry.

To easily and securely send money to over 165 countries, take the following steps:

  • Enter the correct bank or credit/debit card information when signing up for the account. Update it if or when it changes.
  • Verify the information for the recipient so it goes to the right person.
  • Only share the cash pickup details with the recipient. Use the “share order details” feature to securely alert them to where they can pick up their money.
  • Don’t share your Ria app login with anyone, and secure your phone, tablet, or desktop with a strong password that only you know. You can also use biometric features to unlock your device for added security.
  • Turn on all the available security features in the Ria app, such as two-factor authentication. Enable notifications so you are alerted to any account activity. 

If you have questions about how Ria’s security features work or how to best use them, contact the customer service team for assistance. They can help you securely send or receive money using your choice of app or computer.

FAQs

What are the benefits of a digital wallet?

Digital wallets are gaining in popularity for their convenience and speed. Simply tap or scan your mobile wallet app at a participating checkout to pay for your purchases. Digital wallets protect your credit card and bank account numbers from the merchant with encryption technology. It’s also a great way to travel light and leave those credit cards at home.

Digital wallets are more secure than bringing your card out every time you shop and risk losing it or having it compromised by an employee or skimming machine.

Do all stores accept digital wallet payments?

Not every retailer is set up for digital wallet payments, as it takes a certain type of technology to accept payments. Check the payment terminals where you shop to see mentions of the wallet type you own. Many have symbols detailing which payment methods they accept.

If the cashier doesn’t allow NFC or “touchless” payments, they likely can’t do mobile wallet payments, either. You can also call to see if they accept it ahead of time.

How can I use a Ria digital wallet?

Ria’s digital wallet is a convenient and secure way to pay for things at stores or even send money to friends and family members. To use it, follow these steps:

  • Download the Ria Money Transfer App to your phone or tablet.
  • Enter your personal contact information to sign up for a free account.
  • Add a payment method, such as a credit card, debit card, or bank account, to fund your purchases.
  • Choose what country you want the money to go to and how much you want to send. If a mobile wallet is available to the sender in your chosen country, it will show up as an option.
  • Receive money from friends and family using the Ria Mobile Wallet. Just provide your mobile wallet information.

What countries have digital wallets for use with Ria?

Ria’s list of eligible digital wallet options is growing all the time. Currently, Ria users can send money to wallets in these countries:

  • Benin
  • Bangladesh
  • Botswana
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Cook Islands
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Croatia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Haiti
  • Indonesia
  • Kenya
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Tanzania
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uganda
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

What digital wallets can I send money to?

Ria allows you to send money to over 165 countries, many of which work with mobile wallet systems. The participating digital wallet depends on the country but may include Orange Money, MBank, EcoCash, and MTN MoMo.

About the author

Gabriela Solis

Gabriela Solis is Ria's Senior Content Writer. Located in Querétaro, México, she focuses on telling stories that show the myriad human faces of remittances.

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