Wallet – the electronic wallet
In cashless payment transactions, the term accordingly means electronic wallet; it is also referred to as e-wallet or digital wallet. This virtual wallet is loaded with a credit balance. The stored money can be spent at a later date on various occasions and in many cases anonymously. Recharging is most often done by credit card payment, but bank transfers or direct debiting are also possible. There are two options: either a credit balance is paid in advance (prepaid) or a reference account is deposited for clearing.
Wallet: Payment on the Internet
The wallet as a means of payment offers its users quick and easy transactions, which are often cheaper than, for example, a payment by credit card. It is often used for smaller amounts of money. The wallet is used in online stores, online casinos or betting offices, or in game portals. Probably the best-known provider is PayPal, an eBay subsidiary, which can be used as an alternative payment method in around 50 percent of all online stores. Other established wallet providers are ClickandBuy, T-Pay, Moneybookers or Neteller.
Paying with your cell phone
You go out for a coffee, buy a shower gel or a ticket – but you don’t have any change? No problem, if you can easily pay with your cell phone as a wallet. You hold your smartphone up to a reader and a few seconds later the transaction is complete. This simple payment method is made possible by Near Field Communication (NFC), a radio transmission standard with a very short range. This option is not yet too widespread, as only a small proportion of smartphones are equipped with an NFC chip. In addition, retailers must be equipped with the necessary contactless reader terminals to use this technology. However, the increasing demand suggests a spread of this convenient payment method via Wallet. The topic is being driven by Google, which launched the Google Wallet smartphone application in May 2011. German mobile operators are also working on solutions and hope to find a way out of stagnating sales.
Wallet in Germany – Paying with the GeldKarte
Since as early as 1996, the GeldKarte wallet in Germany has enabled its users to pay small amounts without cash and without user identification. The maximum amount that can be loaded onto the GeldKarte in advance is 200 euros. The respective amounts are then debited from this credit when payment is made, without the need for a signature or PIN. The GeldKarte is topped up either by debiting the associated checking account or in exchange for cash at the bank counter. Contactless payment with girogo from the savings banks represents a new form of wallet. Amounts of up to 20 euros can also be paid via the electronic wallet of the Sparkassen Card without a signature or PIN.
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