What’s a digital wallet?

A digital wallet, or mobile wallet, is an easy and convenient way to pay for something without using cash or a physical card. Digital wallets are stored on your smartphone, tablet or smart watch, meaning that they make for a handy way to pay for things when you’re out and about. You can also use a digital wallet to pay for something on certain websites.

Starling customers can add Starling personal, business or joint debit cards to a number of digital wallets, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, FitBit Pay or Garmin Pay.

How do digital wallets work?

Digital wallets work by storing your debit card information on your device. Once set up, you can unlock your device and then use your digital wallet to make a quick, easy payment anywhere you see the contactless sign. Apple Pay and Google Pay can also be used for many websites when online shopping. And all digital wallets can be used on most buses, UK trams and metros, including the London Underground, and to buy tickets for most trains.

Depending on your device, you may need to unlock the wallet with biometric security, such as Face ID or fingerprint ID, or through a passcode or PIN, to make a payment. Smart watches usually ask you to enter your PIN or passcode every 24 hours or when you put it back on after taking it off.

No matter which device you’re paying with, you’ll be saved the faff of finding your wallet or purse, when you grab a coffee or pop out to the shops. As long as you have your phone or smart watch, you’re good to go.

How to set up a digital wallet with Starling

You can add a Starling card to your Apple Pay or Google Pay digital wallet straight from the Starling app, even before your physical debit card arrives. Simply go to the ‘Card’ section of the app and click ‘Add to Apple Wallet’ or ‘Add to Google Wallet’.

If you want to add a Starling card to your Samsung Pay, FitBit or Garmin Watch, download the Samsung, FitBit or Garmin app and follow the on-screen instructions.

Starling virtual cards

If you bank with Starling, you can also set up virtual cards to help organise your budget and add these to your digital wallet.

Virtual cards exist in the Starling app and your digital wallet, rather than as a physical card. A virtual card can be used to make payments directly from Spaces, the section of the app where you can set money aside from your main balance for any purpose you like, for example a holiday or DIY.

Making payments from Spaces using a virtual card can be especially helpful if you use Spaces to budget - you could have Spaces for your grocery shop or nights out, with allocated funds separate from your main balance. You can set up five virtual cards for a personal Starling account and another five for a Starling joint account.

What are the advantages of digital wallets?

The main advantage of a digital wallet is that it allows you to make payments without a physical debit card, something that’s very useful if you don’t have your wallet to hand.

Another advantage is that digital wallets often have a much higher cap for contactless payments. Starling’s mobile wallet single transaction limit is £2,500. For details on how to increase this, go to the Card & Payment Limits in the Card section of the app.

Digital wallets and safety

To help stay safe, you need to secure your mobile device with Face ID, fingerprint ID, passcodes or PINs. The exact method depends on the device you’re using and the settings you’ve chosen. To minimise the risk of digital wallet scams, always use different passcodes, PINs or passwords for different devices and apps, especially when it comes to your banking app.

If your smartphone is lost or stolen, you can lock or cancel your physical Starling card by calling our Customer Service using the number on the back of your debit card. This will also lock or cancel the Starling card in your mobile wallet. Our team is on hand 24/7 to support you.

Article updated: 5 June 2023

Subscribeto blog updatesarrow-right

Related stories

Latest posts