Unclutter Your Wallet With Your Smartphone

Cluttered WalletTired of lugging around a wallet and cell phone? Take heart: new apps and organizational tools can help ease your load. With a few safety precautions, it’s easier than ever to just grab one device and go.

Mobile Wallets, A Growing Trend

Mobile wallets are relatively new and let users consolidate multiple cards, including credit cards and loyalty programs, into one mobile-payment app on your smartphone. Though no single app is supported across all mobile platforms or accepted by all retailers, the trend is growing fast: one study by Berg Insight estimates that mobile wallets will grow from today’s 7.5 million users to 29 million in five years.

At its most basic, a mobile wallet replaces the bulky one you carry around. Just download a mobile-wallet app to your smartphone and use it to photograph your cards and receipts. The next time you make a credit-card purchase, simply flash the app.

Mobile Wallet Apps, Some Options

The best mobile wallets store all your information and organize it by category (credit cards, receipts, memberships, etc.), then encrypt and password-protect the contents. Many can suggest stores or restaurants near you, makeshopping recommendations based on past purchases or give you rewards for frequent use. They all offer hands-free payment where accepted, including Starbucks, Target and The Home Depot.

Among the largest mobile wallets on the market are Apple Passbook for iPhone and Google Wallet for AndroidPayPal is pushing a wallet of its own and works with iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices. Programs such LifeLock Wallet App and Square work on a variety of smartphones, offer more benefits and are increasingly accepted by retailers. Unfortunately, mobile wallets aren’t accepted everywhere, so you’ll still have to carry a credit card. But they can replace items like a driver’s license or photo ID (though this varies by state), even at airport security, as long as your photo and ID number are clearly visible.

Safekeeping

Remember, there’s always risk associated with your personal information, whether it’s in a physical wallet or a digital one. Keep your phone charged: when the power goes, so does your ability to access your wallet. Your phone should also be password-protected and backed up to safeguard your info should the device be lost or stolen. The last thing you need is your ID in the wrong hands.

Add the GEICO App to all your mobile devices and make it easy to view and save your insurance ID card right on your smartphone or tablet. We’ve also optimized your digital ID cards to load full-screen, so you can swipe and view them just like your photos!  Download the GEICO app today.

How do you declutter your wallet? Tell us below.

By Laura Heller

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  1. Freelon Goodson says

    First let me thank you for your excellent service and the intuitive manner your information is presented on the web site and the iOS app. I’ve been a customer for several years, and I manage my account easily online using my laptop and my iPhone.

    Now I would like to make a suggestion. I would very much like to see the iOS Geico app extended to include the ability to add a “card” to the Apple Wallet. The Wallet is an excellent iPhone function that works amazingly well, not just with loyalty cards but with membership cards of all types (e.g., airline miles cards). It’s a trick sometimes finding the “add a card to Apple Wallet” function within each app, but once that hurdle is cleared, the wallet makes it very easy to get the key information quickly. It would be really nice to have a Geico card with the policy numbers and expiration dates in the wallet on those occasions when that information is needed quickly, as this would avoid having to launch the full Geico app, wait for it to load, etc.

    With airline miles cards, it is even possible to update the data from the wallet card. This would be analogous to the expiration dates of the current auto insurance policy.

    The Geico app would still have to be installed on the phone, and customers would still go to the full app for anything more involved that retrieving the policy numbers/dates, but it would be appreciated by lots of customers, I’m sure.

    I know I would appreciate it!

  2. Chris says

    It would be nice if apple provided a means for things like insurance cards and drivers licenses to be locked on the screen in case you need to hand your phone to a cop for review. That we he can not go into any other function on the phone while it may be in his possession.

    This functionality would be a must have before I could transition to a paperless license/insurance card.

  3. Dan says

    Why would GEICO put out this article telling all about mobile wallets and then not support things like passbook for insurance cards? I agree with the last post…

  4. Rayc says

    The insurance ID card in the iPhone GEICO App is OK but would be much more convenient if it could be uploaded into PassBook for quick reference. After an accident you don’t want to be fumbling around in an App that also only presents the information in landscape mode.