WALKTHROUGH: PayPal's Mobile Wallet Looks Like An Awesome Tool

Photo: Image courtesy of PayPal

A recent PayPal event unveiled the online payment giant’s latest venture: a one-stop shop mobile wallet that features a card and a smartphone app.The app, which is still in beta mode, looks like an amazing tool. You can store all you credit cards, gift cards, frequent flier miles and more in one location. It comes with a linked PayPal card, which enables users to pick up purchases in store or redeem rewards.

Of course with any innovation there’s a risk. The mobile wallet makes it easy to drain your accounts quickly, making them vulnerable to impulse buys, drunk buys and identity theft.

We identified some pros and cons in a walkthrough. The app is set to debut some time next year.

PRO: Consumers too lazy to remember to use their gift cards will love this feature. The virtual wallet accepts any card, regardless of how it works in-store.

PRO: It also makes it easy to monitor day-to-day spending.

CON: A data breach puts you at risk for identity and credit fraud. Also, storing your all your cards in one place might tempt you to BS yourself to spend when you shouldn't.

PRO: The wallet offers users a real-time look at the best deals in stores and online.

CON: Sale alerts that pop up whenever you walk past your favourite stores are distracting. It's hard enough for consumers walking down a block in New York City—PayPal's biggest market—not to go overboard at Duane Reade.

Deals popping up on on a phone, making it easy to purchase something without an in-person transaction is overwhelming.

With everything on an app and a nameless card, it doesn't FEEL like you're spending money, but you are. No exchange of bills or removal of plastic makes it harder to put checks and balances on yourself.

Again, purchasing products you might forget about seconds later could send your finances into the red.

CON: For small businesses, it might be especially tough (and costly) to implement systems that discern PayPal shoppers from regular customers.

To pick up purchases in-store, PayPal customers enter their phone number, PIN and then swipe their card.

Here's another way to stay connected to your money on-the-go.

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