Simplify Life – Ditch Your Wallet

Greg Sager

Greg Sager, store manager for U.S. Cellular in    New Bern

Smartphone users may want to explore using their device as a payment option, eliminating a physical wallet, carrying just their smartphone. In fact, 7.5 million mobile users reached for their smartphone when it came time to pay, instead of pulling out their wallet according to a 2013 report by Berg Insight Study.

The use of a mobile wallet may be the perfect solution for those who are trying to simplify their lives, and U.S. Cellular recommends several free apps to get through your day without ever needing a wallet:

Grabbing morning java – Perk up your morning routine by trying out the LevelUp app, available on Apple and Android smartphones, to pay for your daily cup of coffee. This app allows users to enter their card information and set a PIN for security when using the app. At the register, simply open your app and pull up the personalized QR code for your card and scan it. LevelUp is available at more than 14,000 businesses and has a GPS locator to see nearby stores that use the app.

Pay off an IOU – Needing to pay back a family member or friend is no problem with the Venmo app, available on Apple and Android. Both parties can quickly download the free app on the 4G LTE network, which has speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G , link to a bank account or debit card, and you are set to send money to each other by phone number, email or Facebook. Users can customize a message, select the amount and transfer the money to a friend without ever needing to run to the ATM for cash.

Enjoy your lunch break – Android users can use Google Wallet to enjoy a quick shopping spree over lunch or grab some grub with friends. This app allows you to store card information and any loyalty cards to pay in stores or online. When at a business that allows customers to pay by smartphone, a  logo is displayed at the cash registers and users simply hold their phone up to the machine to complete their payment. Users can manage numerous cards and payment options from their smartphone, tablet or computer.

Meet up for happy hour – With locations available nationwide, Tabbed Out is a great app to use to find a restaurant or bar for happy hour. This app, available on Android and Apple, has you check in once at a table and assigns you a tabbed out code to share with your server to begin the night. Users can check their tab in real time, what the bill is currently at and pay without having to wait for a check. Users simply click the “pay tab” button and select the card you previously registered with the app to pay and add a tip. Your receipt is emailed to you, and users can even split the check up and pay with multiple cards.

Enjoy dinner or a late night grocery run – Dinner or an evening of shopping can be a breeze without your wallet thanks to the PayPal app, available on Android and Apple. This app allows users to enter their card information, protect it with a PIN, order items and pay for them all on your smartphone. A quick check with your iPhone 6 will reveal which retailers accept PayPal.

Mobile devices simplify and enhance our daily activities in a variety of ways. According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, about half of smartphone users surveyed use their smartphone at least once per day to check weather and the news, or as an alarm clock. We want to make sure customers can get the most out of their devices, and mobile wallets are a great example of how devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, really can do double duty.

While mobile wallets could be the norm for most in the near future, some may need a little help making the switch.  Anyone interested in exploring the topic further can stop by an area store to talk with an associate or attend a free Device Workshop. The next device workshop will be on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. at 3125 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in New Bern.

Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Maritz Research.

Additional data charges may apply. 4G LTE service provided through King Street Wireless, a partner of U.S. Cellular. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

Submitted by: Greg Sager, Store Manager for U.S. Cellular in New Bern

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