This article was originally published in Elavon’s Payment Smart newsletter. Find out more about our program with U.S. Bank/Elavon here.

Hand-held devices have played a significant role in shaping modern shopping behavior, and while their convenience has driven mobile wallet popularity, it is the layers of security that give the in-person payment method its staying power.

In fact, year-over-year double-digit mobile wallet growth appears closely tied to increasing consumer trust in the security of their saved payment data, with transaction volume forecast to reach $49 billion in 2023.1

Consequently, the mobile wallet payment method is no longer considered a novelty, and consumers increasingly link the quality and security of their checkout experience with their options to pay – which means merchants need to get comfortable with this technology too.

What makes mobile wallets so secure?
If a consumer loses their physical wallet, their card number and CVV code are easily accessible since they’re printed on their payment card. Whereas, when credit or debit card information is uploaded to a mobile wallet app, the physical payment card information is replaced by a token.

When the consumer goes to pay, the stored token is verified, the payment is authorized, and the merchant never receives their customer’s actual card information. So, if a merchant’s payment system were ever compromised, their customers’ actual card data would not be exposed.

With tokenization, only the issuer or payment processor can unlock the tokenized data. So no matter who else sees the token as it travels around the web or is carried about in a mobile wallet, it’s meaningless.

Payments in a flash
While checkout convenience also tops the list of reasons consumers increasingly love their mobile wallets, businesses that enable the capability on their point-of-sale system and promote it as an option will conveniently drive more customers through a line more quickly when all they have to do is flash their phone or watch.