A mobile wallet is an app on your mobile device that stores your payment information. It’s like a regular wallet where you keep your credit, debit or prepaid cards.
How to get a mobile wallet
Your mobile wallet stores payment information so you can make contactless payments.
You can add the following payment information to your mobile wallet:
- your credit card number
- your debit card number
- a prepaid card number
- loyalty cards
To get a mobile wallet, you usually need to take the following steps:
- Download a mobile wallet app
- Read and accept the terms of the agreement for the mobile wallet app
- Register your payment information, such as debit, credit or prepaid cards
- Set the default payment method, that is, what payment method to use each time unless you change it
Use the password protection options for your mobile wallet. This will lower the risk of unauthorized transactions, that is, transactions you don’t make or approve. Some mobile wallets allow you to scan your fingerprint instead of using a password.
How to use a mobile wallet
You can use your mobile wallet to make mobile payments, such as:
- contactless or tap mobile payments
- quick response or QR code mobile payments
You can also use your mobile wallet when shopping online or making in-app purchases.
Your financial institution or the merchant may set limits on how much money you can spend using a mobile wallet.
Find out how to make mobile payments.
How your mobile wallet stores payment information
Mobile wallets may store your payment information in one or more ways.
A cloud is an Internet-based secure network. Your mobile wallet may encrypt your payment information and store it in the cloud.
You’ll need an active connection to the Internet when making a payment so your mobile wallet can get your payment information from the cloud.
On the device
Your mobile wallet may store your payment information on a computer chip in your mobile device. The chip links your payment information with a specific payment card network.
Payment card networks include:
- American Express
This means you’re at risk for fraud if your mobile device is lost or stolen.
Your mobile wallet may store your information on your device’s SIM card. A SIM card stores information that identifies mobile devices.
This means you’re at risk for fraud if your SIM card or mobile device is lost or stolen.
How a co-badged debit card works on your mobile wallet
You can add a co-badged debit card to your mobile wallet.
You may be able to add the two debit options offered by your co-badged card on your mobile wallet. If that’s the case, two separate applets will appear on your mobile wallet when you enter your card. You don’t have to add both options to your mobile wallet.
The two debit options you may see are:
- Debit transaction via Interac: the amount due will be taken from your chequing or savings account. This option is like the regular in-person debit transaction you usually make with your debit card.
- Debit transaction via another payment brand: the amount due will still be taken from your chequing or savings account. This is the case even if the transaction is processed by another payment brand such as Visa Debit or Mastercard Debit. This is typically used to make online or international purchases.
When you enter your co-badged debit card information in your mobile wallet, you have the right to choose the option(s) you want.
You should be able to:
- use both Interac’s debit option and another payment brand’s debit option (such as Visa and Mastercard)
- add or remove one of these options
- set any card on your mobile wallet as a default payment option
Find out more about co-badged debit cards and how they work.
If your mobile device is lost or stolen
Protect your financial and personal information if your mobile device is lost or stolen. Contact your mobile wallet provider to disable your mobile wallet.
If credit or debit card information is on your mobile wallet, notify the financial institution that issued your debit card or credit card.
Learn more steps to take when your phone is lost or stolen.
Your rights when using a mobile wallet
In Canada, financial institutions that issue credit and debit cards agree to certain rules to protect your rights when you use your mobile wallet.
They agree to give you control over the default settings on your mobile wallet. The default settings let you pick your preferred payment source. Your mobile wallet will use this payment source unless you change it.
The financial institutions also agree that if you have more than one payment source in your mobile wallet:
- each payment source must be represented as a separate icon
- you must be able to select which payment source you want to use for a transaction
- you must also be able to easily change the default settings that control which payment source to use
Most financial institutions offer an online security guarantee and other online protections. This means you may not have to pay for unauthorized transactions.
Learn more on how you're protected from unauthorized mobile transactions.
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