What is a digital wallet? 

Couple paying with contactless payments in-store

If you have a smartphone, chances are you've probably heard of the term digital wallet.  If you've never given a digital wallet a go, you may be wondering how to set one up and how secure it is. 

What is a digital wallet? 

Your digital wallet is an app on your smartphone that allows you to save electronic copies of your debit, credit, rewards and loyalty cards. It may even allow you to store your plane and concert tickets and much more.

If you already carry your smartphone everywhere, storing your cards and tickets on it can be more convenient. Instead of searching through your wallet or purse to find what you need at the checkout, you could leave your wallet at home and use your device instead. 

How do I use a digital wallet to make payments? 


Once you add your card to your digital wallet, you can use your device to make payments at readers displaying this symbol:

Paywave Symbol
Once you’ve woken and authorised your device to make a payment, you simply hold it over the payment reader until you see the confirmation tick on your device. 


You can use your digital wallet to make payments online with participating retailers. At the checkout when making an eligible purchase you’ll be able to select whether you’d like to use a card in your digital wallet. 

Both in-store and online transactions using your digital wallet will show up in your bank account as they usually would when paying with your card. Plus, when you use your Heritage card with your digital wallet, you’ll continue to enjoy all the same rewards, benefits, and protections that come with your card  .

Is a digital wallet secure?  

A digital wallet comes with many security features to protect you when you pay with your phone, including: 

1. Transactions are protected by your device’s security settings

When you set up your Visa card in your digital wallet, you’ll have to set up a device passcode or biometrics like face ID or fingerprint to make payments with your smartphone or device. This means that your digital wallet is protected by this additional layer of security. If your phone was to fall into the wrong hands, they’d need your passcode or biometrics to access your wallet.   

Remember, once you’ve set up a digital wallet, your device passcode and/or biometrics can be used to make purchases. This is why you should never share your device passcode with anyone (including family) and never set up another person’s biometrics on your device. If you do, then they’ll be able to make payments using your digital wallet and you could be liable for contributing to any losses incurred.

Never write your device passcode down and don’t make it something easily guessable like ‘1234’ or your date of birth. Read our article on keeping your passwords and PIN more secure for more tips. 

2. Merchants do not receive your physical card number 

Your physical card number is not shown to merchant when making transactions using your digital wallet. Instead, they see a unique token or device account number instead of your physical card details.  

3. Protection from fraudulent transactions

Whether you use a digital wallet or a physical Visa card, you are protected with Visa Zero Liability Policy# against fraudulent transactions. If you think a transaction looks suspicious on your Heritage account, contact us and have details of your concerns at hand.

4. Real-time notifications

On most smart devices you can choose to be notified in real-time when a digital wallet transaction takes place. This is an added layer of security so you’ll always know when a transaction occurs through your digital wallet. 

What happens if I sell my device ?

If you are selling or giving away your device you should make sure you delete all cards in any digital wallet. Alternatively, you could reset your device to factory settings which will also remove all cards (otherwise known as token accounts). If you forget to do this, you should contact your Bank to remove your debit or credit cards on your behalf. 

What happens if I lose my physical card or my device ? 

If you lose your physical card or your device it’s important that you contact your bank as soon as possible to report your card as lost/stolen and to remove the card from your device. 

Other things to consider

While a digital wallet is a convenient and secure way to make payments and keep a collection of your rewards cards or tickets, it may not be time to ditch your physical cards completely. Here are some things to keep in mind when you use a digital wallet: 

  • At most ATMs you still require a physical card in order to get cash out.
  • Some rewards cards may not be compatible with your digital wallet.
  • Before travelling overseas, you'll need to check that your destination country accepts contactless payments and that your digital wallet is set up before you go. 
  • You’ll need to keep your device charged to access your digital wallet. 

If you’re ready to get started with your digital wallet, head over to our Ways to Bank hub to find steps on adding your Heritage card to your compatible device.  If you would like to open a Heritage account to get spending with your digital wallet, you can open an account online today. 

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