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7 Secure Digital Wallet Strategies of the Now to Out Smart Travel Scams

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Here are the top digital wallet strategies on smartphones. These strategies keep you and your money safe while avoiding travel scams.

These digital wallet strategies and precautions are ideal for mobile smartphones. This also applies to all mobile devices, including tablets, laptops, and smartwatches.

The digital wallet is also named: the mobile wallet, and the electronic wallet / ewallet / e-wallet.

The contemporary smartphone has assembled many items into it. So the physical wallet as we know it will soon be a completely digital wallet also. 

Digital Wallet capabilities

This digital wallet strategy guide took three solid weeks of research. Digital wallets are available for both Apple iOS and Android. These strategies work on smartphones; as well as on tablets, laptops, and smartwatches. 

Some passions I enjoy include travel, technology, and asset building. To sum this up in one sentence. My three-decade career of traveling to consult business technologies and financial goals.

So years ago I was a target for two travel scams; once on a business trip, and once on a personal trip. Here is my resource to help provide us with solutions. 

The U.S. Department of State is a great resource. They have a list of the most common travel scams. Most all of the scams are financial scams. Contact them if you have been a victim of a travel scam.

Being money smart is essential while traveling. Even better is when technology can further help us be money safe. 

This guide lists the absolute most important at the top. Mobile VPNs are the most important travel foundation of Mobile devices. Then we get into the Digital Wallets and Digital Contactless Payments section. 

The items here are either: 

  • a component within the digital wallet, 
  • are a supporting role in the digital wallet, 
  • or will most likely become part of the digital wallet soon.

Table of Contents

A Mind 

Let’s first talk about the Mind that operates a mobile smartphone. 

A mind is the single most important item in our strategies of traveling. 

Invest in Yourself. Educate yourself. Know all there is to know about Travel Scams. 

The more you learn and use, the fewer scams you encounter or even completely avoid you. Thus the more you travel in peace. 

Know our surroundings. Trust our instincts. 

Travel smart with a sharp and sober mind. 

Mobile Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Mobile VPN encryption is the single most important strategy to do on all mobile devices. 

This includes all mobile smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smartwatches! This is regardless of iOS and or Android. 

A Mobile VPN encrypts data transmitted with the entire phone. This includes all the following mobile app strategies listed below. 

It is for this reason that a Mobile VPN stands at the top above all else! 

Make this an absolute law you uphold yourself, especially when traveling!

Internet security scams are at an all-time high. Mobile data theft is increasing as the newest source of theft for scammers. 

Wacky WiFi is to blame. We join a facility’s free secure WiFi. When we stumbled into the scammer’s free insecure imposter Wacky WiFi. A program immediately engages in cloning our smartphones to steal sensitive data! 

The Scammer’s Wacky WiFi title looks almost identical to the authentic WiFi. We even encounter an imposter landing page. It looks and behaves as its authentic counter version. 

We interweave through an innumerable amount of people while traveling. Can we trust each person with our most sensitive data on public WiFi? 

Why are Mobile VPNs overlooked, especially while traveling? 

We may fall into a false sense of security. 

  • We take for granted our encrypted networks at home and work. Or we are ignorant of encrypted networks. Using our phones on their WiFi is safe. So it appears safe everywhere. On travel, we assume our Mobile access on public WiFi will be as safe as at home and work.
  • There has never had a problem in the past,… why would we have a problem in the future? Do mobile data Scams even exist in the first place!?
  • We spent a ton on this trip! Do we need a Mobile VPN while on travel? 

Remember a Mobile VPN is your best protection as it encrypts the entire phone! This includes all apps, browsers, email, photos uploaded, etc. 

Remember we get what we pay for. Pay for a great Mobile VPN, especially while we travel. At the very least, while we travel.  

Pay month to month if that is all you need. Install and activate it. 

Travel smart. Travel safe.

iCloud Private Relay

Apple Safari released the “iCloud Private Relay” feature. This extra security protects our privacy while on the Safari web browser. 

In the same internet security family as a Mobile VPN, this is different. 

Private Relay separates: 

the WHO you are on an IP Address, 

and the WHAT you are visiting on the web. 

Apple iCloud servers see the WHO but not the WHAT. While third-party servers see the WHAT but not the WHO. 

Our web browser profile is safe when these two pieces of information are separate. This protects us from travel data scams and targeted geo-marketing. 

Understand Private Relay only protects while using Safari. 

Private Relay DOES NOT replace a Mobile VPN! Private Relay is in conjunction with a Mobile VPN. 

We recommend only using Safari as the browser of choice on iOS devices while traveling. 

Activate the iCloud Private Relay feature on an iPhone. 

Go to Settings > Apple ID name at the top > iCloud > Private Relay… is the 4th option from the top. 

The Android platform is without any such Private Relay protection. This includes Google Chrome, as it is the default Android browser. 

Also, Safari is unavailable on the Android platform. 

Google Chrome is our browser of choice at home and the office. We use Google Chrome for our workstation computers including Apple and Microsoft. Google Chrome is also our browser of choice on our Mobile devices. 

In saying that, we use Apple iOS mobile devices when traveling. We adhere to the “Safari browser only” rule for added web security. 

Digital Wallets and
Mobile Contactless Payments 

Digital Wallet and Digital Contactless Payment options “encrypt” transactions using a smartphone. 

Digital Wallets

Digital Wallet apps enable digital credit cards. Thus eliminating the need to carry physical credit cards. 


  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Samsung Pay 

A mobile credit card encrypts its data. It displays without its visual identification. Its card number, its expiring date, its card security value (CSV) code, and its zip code, are all omitted. Only its last four digits are visible for user identification. 

A digital wallet is safer than a traditional wallet. Especially if the phone goes missing, misplaced, or stolen. 

Digital Wallets sabotage a few travel scams since there is no physical card. Credit card skimming scams copy physical card information. Pickpocketing scams lift wallets and steal the contents inside.

The smartphone “find” feature is available in the event of a missing phone. The feature locates the phone, while it locks down the phone until recovery. 

Learn more about the “find” feature at: 

  • iPhone: iCloud.com/find
  • Android: Android.com/find 

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) explains what to do if phone theft happens.

Mobile Contactless Payments

Mobile Contactless Payments are one of the world’s most secure payment types. 

Mobile Contactless Payments are the newest form of Card-Present (CP) transactions. Mobile (CP) transactions are safe. This is halting card skimming scams. 

Transactions are possible only when three security technologies align! 

– the contactless payment terminal, 

– the smartphone, 

and the user’s biometric id fingerprint signature 

Near Field Communication (NFC) is the contactless technology used. NFC is a form of radio that transmits a transaction. NFC engages only within 4 cm of proximity. 

Finally, transactions use encrypted data transmission. 

Buyer fraud protection is standard with credit card issuers. Mobile credit cards receive the same buyer fraud protection. 

Financial institutions complete credit card transactions the same. Banks and Credit Unions. Regardless of mobile or physical. 

Unsolicited spam email and junk mail are also reducing. Unethical merchants no longer have the option to sell customers’ personal information. 

Note: Card-Not-Present (CNP) transactions are purchases via phone and the internet. (CNP) transactions are imperfect with Mobile Contactless Payments. Contact financial institutions to retrieve your credit card information for (CNP) when traveling. 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury touches on digital wallets as it relates to eCommerce via Mobile payments.

Apple has addressed the (CNP) need in the iOS Digital Wallet. Apple Card is Apple’s signature credit card. Yet the Apple Card is different. 

The Apple Card account number is visible in Apple Wallet. (CNP) transactions are possible. 

Users can change the Apple Card account number at any time. Biometric security changes the Apple Card account number. A remarkable feature if fraud is suspect. 

Apple Card is a collaboration between Apple and Goldman Sachs. 

Learn more at: Apple.com/apple-card/ 

Android (CNP) security alternatives are yet to release. Available are several comparable cards with cashback and or rewards.

Peer-to-Peer Cash Payments

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Cash Payment reimburses trusted individuals as family and friends. 

P2P apps include: 

PayPal • Apple Cash • CashApp • Venmo • Zelle 

P2P is within the mobile smartphone. Some P2P are within the Digital Wallet next to the Contactless Pay credit cards. But P2P is very different.

Think of P2P Cash Payment as the equal of paying with cash. This reduces or eliminates the need to carry actual cash. Essential to sabotage cash theft such as pickpocket scams. 

Understand both payer and payee must have the same feature or app installed and set up to work. 

Note: P2P Cash Payment lacks buyer fraud protection! As paying with cash also lacks buyer fraud protection. 

P2P payment scams are on the rise. Avoid P2P Cash Payment to unknown individuals or companies. 

The only exception is when all three conditions meet: 

  1. The exchange of goods or services already happened.  
  2. You are 100% satisfied. 
  3. You waive any right to a refund. 

Money sent is money gone. Again, the P2P Cash Payment design is to pay trusted individuals only. 

Currency Exchange

Large resource businesses have leaped mobile payments for their travelers. This includes airlines, hotel chains, and tourist excursion companies. Customers are now able to use Digital Wallets and Contactless Payment. 

True innovation takes time. A global economy using 100% digital currency is in the distant future. Many small resource businesses rely on cash in places around the world. 

Foreign cash is still a necessity in the majority of places around the world.

Currency Exchange Websites and Currency Exchange Apps help travelers be currency safe. Use them when converting and using a foreign currency. 

Foreign lands prey upon naive vacationers who are twice cheated. 

Foreign Currency Exchange offices are the last resort. They are notorious for having a multitude of currency scams. Customers receive much less money owed to them. Unjust fees. Exuberant commissions. Extortion. 

Foreign Marketplaces also cheat. Shop owners overcharge goods by 200% to 600% more than fair market value. 

Tourist trap cheat scams are common scenarios in travel destinations globally. Foreign exchange offices convert too little, while foreign markets overcharge too much. 

Vacationers receive less, only to spend more. 

Currency Exchange Websites

Your financial institution website is your best and cheapest option for currency exchange. 

Banks and Credit Unions are already in the business of domestic money accounts. It is smart that these businesses are also into foreign money accounts. 

Big financial institutions even trade currencies on investment markets around the world.

Contact your financial institution to handle all your currency exchanges throughout your travels: 

  • Before departure while at home.
  • After arrival in a foreign land. 
  • Finally after arrival home again. 

The 5 Largest US Banks and their currency exchange services: 

  1. Chase / J.P.Morgan
  2. Bank of America
  3. Wells Fargo
  4. Citi
  5. US Bank

Currency Exchange Apps

“Currency” app developed by Jeffrey Grossman rates very high. 

The app tracks over 160 World currencies! Exchange rates are live up-to-date! 

The interface is simple and easy to use. Yet this is a powerful tool. 

Currency” is available on both Apple iOS and Android for smartphones and smartwatches.

Digital Personal Identification

Digital Wallet technology has digital encryption versions of our: 

Credit Cards • Airline Boarding Passes • Event Tickets • Vaccinations. 

Digital Personal Identification is next to join. The technology has been emerging in the United States since 2021 September. 

State Driver’s Licenses and IDs will soon be available in smartphone Digital Wallets. 

State Officials and Apple are pioneering this next remarkable innovation. The majority of the 50 United States are in the process.  

Seven States are ready to launch. This includes Arizona • Connecticut • Georgia • Iowa • Kentucky • Maryland • Oklahoma • Utah. 

A dozen more states are in the testing process. 

Even a dozen more states are now considering it. 

What to call these digital credentials is still under discussion. 

  • Digital Driver’s License (DDL)
  • Mobile Driver’s License (mDL)
  • Electronic Driver’s Licenses (eDL)

IdentityTheft.gov is operated by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Contact them if you are victim to Identity Theft.

Report identity theft and get a recovery plan


Next Steps To Event Travel

Ensure you are money safe while traveling. Follow each of these digital wallet strategies. 

Update all your apps to the latest version. Updates keep apps strong against data hacking. 

Outdated app versions are digital weak points of entry exploited by hackers. 

You are welcome to join our Event Butterfly Travel Group on Facebook. We are a community of event and travel aficionados such as Yourself! 

We encourage all related topics. Learn and share comments, concerns, questions, photos, videos, and or stories.

Conversing about this article? 
Include in your comments: #digitalwallets 
Where are you in transitioning to a Digital Wallet: are you new to a Digital Wallets, or are you somewhat familiar, or are you an expert?

Remember, Event Butterfly works best with Your engagement. Thank You reader for your participation. Glad to have you with us. 

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