How to pay using your phone

If you have a smartphone (and 77 percent of Americans do in 2018, according to Pew Research Center), you’re probably carrying a mobile wallet right now. But are you using it? When you add your credit or debit cards into your smartphone’s wallet app, you can bypass swipes and chip-dips to make more secure transactions at up to 30 million retailers. No more fumbling for cards at checkout; try this simpler way to pay.

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Going mobile: The other wallet in your pocket

Most smartphones come with a wallet app preloaded.

This makes it easy for you to try out mobile wallet technology. Whether you have an Apple®, Samsung, Android or other type of smartphone, all you need to do is enter your credit or debit card info into the wallet app. That’s as easy as taking a picture of your card or using your bank’s mobile app to seamlessly upload the information. And you may be able to add as many cards as you want.

Multiple ways to pay

Once your card information is in your mobile wallet, you have more options.

Hold your phone up to an in-store terminal instead of swiping your card.

When shopping online, some sites let you select your mobile wallet as your payment option instead of entering your card information.


Use your mobile wallet for in-app purchases. You can pay quickly on the go (think your morning coffee or a last-minute rideshare) and still get the benefits offered by many retailer-specific apps.

Cash without the card

Some ATMs give you access to cash using the debit card loaded in your mobile wallet. Learn how to use this technology at most Bank of America ATMs.

Your information is secure

Mobile payments offer enhanced security features. When you set up your mobile wallet, your account information is not stored on your device. Each card is assigned a virtual card number that’s only associated with the mobile wallet and mobile device you use. Don’t stress if you lose track of your phone—all mobile wallet transactions require the verification you set up, like a fingerprint scan.

Your mobile wallet might also use:

A virtual card number that replaces sensitive card information in a transaction.

Enhanced authentication
Depending on your phone type, you can authorize payments with a fingerprint, passcode or even an iris scan.

Strong encryption
Your card information will not be shared with merchants.

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More ways to pay using your phone

Much like mobile wallets make shopping more seamless, payment services, like Zelle®, let you send money to almost anyone with a mobile number or email address, no matter where they bank. Learn more about how to transfer money to friends and family through the Bank of America mobile app.

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The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial, tax or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional and tax advisor when making decisions regarding your financial situation.

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