How you can save money with Wallet, Target’s new digital payments system

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How you can save money with Wallet, Target’s new digital payments system
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To take advantage of the holiday rush, Target this week released Wallet, its tailor-made mobile payments system. Available on both the Android and iOS platforms, the new feature comes embedded in the Target app, keeping shoppers inside the store’s digital environment, where they can track online orders, manage shipping information and of course, easily pay for items.

Target has reportedly been working on the Wallet feature for at least a couple years as mobile payment systems have begun to take off among consumers. Mobile payments have long been touted as a $1 trillion industry, once the technology caught up to shopper aspirations. Judging by recent moves among retailers, that time is now.

One of the handy things about Target’s app is that it enables easy access to deals both in-store and online, making it easier to save money. Also inside the Wallet feature, you can scan barcodes and pay for items inside the store with your REDcard.

Target’s new mobile Wallet feature lets you pay inside the app — and it has deals

So how does Target’s mobile Wallet work?

When you open the Target app and press the “Wallet” button you’ll be taken to a screen that offers two possible actions — “save easily” and “pay quickly.”

The “save easily” button says you can “Get Cartwheel offers, coupons and 5% off with a REDcard.” The “pay quickly” item allows you to “Just scan the barcodes to check out in one place.”

Once you select the “show me my Wallet” button, it opens to a screen showing a barcode that you can scan at checkout to pay with the credit card you’ve linked the app with (for  now, the feature only works with your store-branded REDcard, but will roll out to other cards later). Most importantly, it will show you coupons that you can instantly redeem to save money. When I opened the Wallet program it showed that I had two coupons available.

One of the coupons was $300 off a Google Pixel 2, the new phone. The fine print says that you have to buy this in-store for it to be redeemable. The fine print also says that you have to switch your T-Mobile phone over to Verizon, so basically it’s a carrier deal.

The second deal is $300 off an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus for the same terms and conditions. Like the first offer, this is for no money down and a two-year contract.

It is expected that more deals will come available in the coming days as the phone bargains will expire on December 9.

Another matter of note is that, for now, the store’s many gift cards are not redeemable inside the app. The Target app does continue to work with Apple Pay.

RELATED: How I learned to quit worrying and embrace Apple Pay

How to protect your digital information

Money expert Clark Howard says thieves are trying their best to hack into mobile payments and steal your information.

One way to protect the information you store inside the mobile payment systems you use is by employing two-factor authentication, or 2FA. With two-factor authentication, it offers an additional layer of security because you have to log in via your username/password to complete the first step. The second step involves having sending a call or text containing a temporary code to your phone.

RELATED: Why two-step authentication is the way to go

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