Image of digital wallet with BECU cards on smartphone

Digital Wallets: From Setup to Security

Digital wallets are an easy way to electronically store payment options like credit and debit cards on your smartphone, watch, or other device. They offer a convenient way to make purchases online and in stores without the use of a physical card.

Most smartphones and watches come preloaded with a digital wallet application such as Apple Pay, Garmin Pay or Google Wallet. After you've added at least one credit or debit card to your device's digital wallet, you can use it for many of the online and in-store transactions you make every day.

Security of Digital Wallets

Digital wallets use a security method known as tokenization to protect your information. This process converts your sensitive personal information into a unique, random code called a "token" for each transaction you make. Instead of sharing your personal data, a one-time token is used, enhancing security by hiding your sensitive personal and financial information. Other security benefits of digital wallets and payments include:
  • Theft protection: Unlike cards and cash in a physical wallet, if your device is lost or stolen a thief would need your authorization code, fingerprint, or other authentication process to access the items in your device's digital wallet.
  • Fraud prevention: It's harder for a fraudster to add your cards to their own device if they are already associated with your phone.
  • Identity verification: Unlike payments with physical cards, digital payments require identity verification such as a personal identification number (PIN) or fingerprint for authorization.
  • Protection from skimming: Fraudsters can place skimming devices on payment machines to collect card information. Because you don't swipe or insert a card during a digital wallet transaction, you're safe from these types of skimming attempts.

Adding BECU Debit and Credit Cards to Your Digital Wallet

Before you can make a digital payment, you need to add and authorize at least one of your cards to your device's digital wallet. You can use the digital wallet app pre-installed on your device, such as Google Wallet, Apple Pay, or Samsung Pay. Visit the Digital Wallets page to see which digital wallet apps are compatible with BECU cards.

  1. Download and open your digital wallet app (many phones come with one pre-installed).
  2. Look for an "Add card" option and provide your BECU card details.
  3. Complete verification steps, such as a confirmation code sent via SMS text message.
  4. Enable multi-factor authentication to reinforce security.
  5. If you use an Apple or Android device, make sure to enable the "Find My" feature. This will allow you to remotely find, lock or erase your device if it's ever lost or stolen.

How To Make a Digital Payment

Digital payments can make the checkout process faster, both online and at retail locations.

  • Online: You'll see options like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Wallet at checkout if the retailer accepts digital payments. If you select one of these options, you'll need to authorize access to the wallet through biometric authentication (e.g., a fingerprint or face scan) or by entering a PIN or authorization code on your phone. Once authorized, the encrypted payment using the default card associated with your wallet is complete. You can change the default card in your device settings.
  • In stores: Use digital payments anywhere you see the contactless pay symbol. Open your digital wallet, select the card you want to use, and hold your device close to the payment terminal. Depending on your device and settings, you'll need to authorize the payment through biometric authentication, a PIN or authorization code. You'll see a message on your device when the payment is authorizing and then approved. You might also hear an audio alert (e.g., a ding) to let you know your payment is complete. The whole process is as fast as using a physical card.

What To Do If You Lose Your Device

Contact BECU to report your debit or credit card lost or stolen, just as you would for a physical card.

Apple and Android devices: Lock your device using the Find My feature as soon as you realize it is lost. Your digital wallet cannot be used when your device is locked. You should erase your device if it's been stolen or if it's lost permanently.

Note: To lock or erase an Apple or Android device remotely, you must have the Find My feature enabled.
Garmin Pay devices: Use the Garmin Connect app on your phone to suspend or remove the cards in your Garmin Pay wallet.

More Digital Wallet Safety Tips

As you should with any payment method, you need to protect your digital wallet and keep it safe. Here are some best practices to follow.

  • Use a secure network. Avoid connecting to your digital wallet on public or unsecured Wi-Fi.
  • Create strong passwords. Ensure your passwords are robust, frequently updated, and never written down or shared.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication. Add an extra layer of security by enabling features that require additional verification steps beyond your password.
  • Keep your login information confidential. Treat it with the same care as any sensitive personal information.
  • Monitor your financial statements. Regularly check your statements and promptly report any discrepancies to BECU.
  • Keep your device updated. Regularly update your device's operating system and digital wallets app to benefit from the latest security protocols.
  • Be cautious with emails. Avoid links or attachments from unknown senders and use a spam filter.
  • Transact with trusted retailers. Verify the recipient's information thoroughly before sending money and only use digital payments with trusted online retailers.
  • Set up security alerts. Activate alerts to be notified of transactions, helping you spot and react to any fraudulent charges swiftly.

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