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What is a digital wallet?

With so many ways to pay for goods - both online and in shops - you might be looking for a way to make things quicker and simpler.

A digital wallet could be right for you, but it's worth knowing the ins and outs before setting one up.

What is a digital wallet and how do they work?

A digital wallet is an electronic device that stores all your payment details in one location, which can make it simpler and safer to make cashless purchases online and in-store.

Digital wallets can connect with traditional bank accounts and store your credit and debit card details, as well as your payment details for online payment systems such as Apple® or Google PayTM. If you’re an HSBC customer, you can add your HSBC card to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

How do you set up a digital wallet?

It’s easy to set up a digital wallet. When you’ve chosen your preferred wallet provider, enter your payment information and the system will save it securely in one location.

If you want to use your digital wallet via your smartphone, which will allow you to make in-store contactless payments, you’ll need to have the relevant app.

What are the benefits of digital wallets?

Digital wallets can make payments easier, quicker and more secure. They provide:

  • convenience – you can leave your actual wallet at home if you don’t want to carry it around
  • a single location for all your payment information, so you no longer have to remember several PINs and passwords
  • the option to make payments online without having to fill in your details every time you make a purchase

How safe are digital wallets?

Biometrics – or more simply put, Touch/Face ID – are a secure way to log on to your mobile device and apps like the HSBC US Mobile Banking App*.

Digital wallets use authentication and data encryption to protect your personal information, unlike a traditional wallet where someone can access your payment cards if they take it.

Mobile operating devices are better at protecting users from malicious software than desktop operating systems. But you should still take additional safety measures to keep your information safe when using a digital wallet.

These include:

  • using a PIN or fingerprint identification protection on your smartphone
  • keeping track of payments made from your digital wallet

Explore more

Find out all the potential benefits of opening a checking account.
Find out what documents you need to apply for an account and check your eligibility.
Check if you’re eligible to apply for a joint account and ensure you have all the correct documents.


Apple and Apple Pay are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Android and Google Pay are trademarks of Google LLC.


Samsung and Samsung Pay are trademarks or registered trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.


*Data rate charges from your service provider may apply. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is not responsible for these charges. Camera-in device required to be able to utilize HSBC Mobile Check Deposit. Deposit amount limits may apply. HSBC Mobile Banking App is available for iPhone®, iPad®, AndroidTM devices and must be downloaded from the App StoreTM or Google PlayTM.