Going digital: Four ways to help Aussies ditch their wallets for good

Every time you leave the house in the morning you probably do the same mental check as every other Australian - do I have my phone, keys, headphones, wallet and bag?

But with smartphone apps making everything from digital payments options to budgeting achievable in just a few swipes, more and more Australians are leaving their wallets at home in exchange for the convenience of their phone.

So if you’re ready to ditch your wallet for good here are the apps that you’ll need to do it:

1. Digital Bank Cards (Android, Apple or Samsung Pay)

Depending on your phone and banking provider you’ll be able to take advantage of the virtual wallets for your phone released by Android, Apple and Samsung in which you can easily upload eligible debit or credit cards. Once these virtual versions of your cards have been uploaded you’ll be ready to tap and go with your phone anywhere with payWave and PayPass!

  • Benefits: Aside from the convenience of having all your cards (from different providers) in one place, each of the major mobile wallet apps offer an extra layer of security. Instead of using your actual card details the respective wallets generate a random number sequence each time you pay that works like a credit card number, but is actually useless if stolen.
  • Drawbacks: While there are a tonne of Australian banks and providers who have partnered with Android, Apple or Samsung, some haven’t (Commonwealth Bank for example) so you may have to wait until they do.

2. Reward yourself with Stocard

Stocard allows you to leave your plastic at home and keep all your major loyalty and store cards (and there sure are a lot of them) in one place by creating digital versions of your cards all in the one app on your phone. So next time you go to redeem your rewards you’ll know exactly where to look.

  • Benefits: Stocard offers digital versions of over 100 popular Australian loyalty cards including FlyBuys, Woolworths Rewards, Qantas, Myer and many others.

3. Ditch receipts and track your purchases with Pocketbook

Are you sick of having to carry around a wallet bulging with receipts? Well gone are the days when you needed to keep track of your spending by tallying up receipts for your monthly budget.

The Pocketbook app will help you keep tabs on your spending by automatically tracking every purchase you make and displaying them in easy to read summaries to help you find ways to get your budget on track and save.

  • Benefits: With Pocketbook you’ll be able to sync every one of your financial products (including credit cards, debit cards and even loans) in the one place so you’ll have a complete breakdown of your entire financial life. You’ll also be safe in knowing that all your information is encrypted by Pocketbook for extra security.

4. Government Cards  

Thanks to the Federal Government's ‘Express Plus’ app, the New South Wales Government's ‘Service NSW’ app and the South Australian government's ‘mySA Gov’ app you’ll be able to leave some of your government-issued cards and licences at home.

  • Benefits: With the Federal Government's ‘Express Plus’ app you’ll be able to view a digital copy of your medicare, concession or health care cards. By downloading the service NSW app you can create digital versions of your fishing licence, as well as your RCG and RSA cards, while the mySA Gov app allows you to create digital copies of your proof of age card and boating licence.
  • Drawbacks: Unfortunately your driver’s licence will need to remain in your pocket for the time being, but see the future wrap below for more details about your own state's plans.

Coming soon to a phone near you...

Drivers Licences  

A virtual driver’s licence would perhaps be the last piece in the jigsaw which would allow many Aussies to be ditch their wallets for good.

The good news is that if you live in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria or Western Australia the wait might not be too long, as each state government has expressed plans to digitise their respective drivers licences in the near future.

Transport Cards (Opal, Myki, Go)

If you’re living in New South Wales you could soon be able to use your mobile to tap on and off the Opal public transport system. In fact, a trial is already underway which allows passengers to tap on and off using a Mastercard contactless payment option (including both card and mobile).

There are also reportedly plans underway to introduce mobile payment options on the Melbourne (Myki) and South-East Queensland (Go) transport networks.