Why a digital wallet is better than a credit card when travelling

We’re all used to the convenience of contactless payments using our credit or debit cards, also called tap and go payments, but digital wallets are a better way to pay for goods and services while you’re on the move. Payments made using your digital wallet are safer than using a physical card. Cards can be lost, or stolen, but payments made using a digital wallet must be authorized using your face ID, touch ID, or passcode. If your phone falls into the wrong hands, the digital wallet is locked. In addition, your card details – number, name and Card Verification Value (CVV) – are not shared with merchants during transaction processing. Digital wallets use tokenization, replacing card details with alternative codes, “tokens”. Even if the hotel, restaurant or retailer you paid for is hacked, hackers cannot gain access to your credit or debit card details.

There is also less chance that your payment will be declined when you pay from a digital wallet. It’s not uncommon for transactions to be declined for no apparent reason when you’re traveling abroad, but the rate of declines in payments is much lower with digital wallet transactions than with physical cards.

Another convenience – top up debit cards in digital wallets only takes a few minutes, and there are no fees. Any amount you transfer is an amount credited to your wallet unlike some travel money cards which charge a fee for each transfer.

To pay with a card stored in your digital wallet, you will need a mobile data feed, either a global roaming plan from your Australian telco, a local SIM card in your phone, or an eSIM from a multinational provider such as Airalo. [airalo.com]. Digital wallet payments are not accepted everywhere. Australia is at the forefront of technology and you probably won’t find the same general acceptance as at home, and never rely on just one payment system. You still need a physical credit and debit card for backup, and not just one.

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