Fishing around for the right card amid a stack of credit, rewards, and membership cards is frustrating. Digital wallets might ease payment pain, but which one should you choose? Here are some of the options to consider.

Let’s be honest. The holiday season often brings shopping, eating out, travel—a lot of purchases. Credit and debit cards allow cash-free transactions, but generally you still have to whip out your wallet and dig for the right card amid your stack. The wave of mobile payments and digital wallets coming down the line, however, let you leave your cash and your cards at home. Caution: don’t forget your phone!

With the abundance of apps for consumers comes concern for security. But efforts to include built-in hardware like near field communication chips, strengthen smartphone operating systems, or require pins for transactions are attempting to shore up digital wallet weaknesses.

PayPal App
PayPal App

When trusted online payment company PayPal, part of eBay, announced their mobile app in September, they became poised to lead the mobile payment pack. The app lets you pay in stores, restaurants, even Uber cars, as easily as you pay online.

Google Wallet
Google Wallet

Tap and Pay: In theory, using Google Wallet is as easy as downloading the app, linking it to an existing debit or credit card, then tapping your phone to the terminal to pay. It also lets you send cash via email for free (direct deposit), or for a small fee (debit or credit). And you can save your favorite rewards cards to make shopping fast and efficient. Look for the ‘Buy with Google’ sticker.

PayPal App
PayPal App

When trusted online payment company PayPal, part of eBay, announced their mobile app in September, they became poised to lead the mobile payment pack. The app lets you pay in stores, restaurants, even Uber cars, as easily as you pay online.

LevelUp
LevelUp

With LevelUp, you can link your credit card details to a unique QR code reader on your mobile device. Just take your phone to your favorite lunch spot, show your QR code, and get instant perks in exchange for your loyalty or offers when you try new places. Unlike other vendors, LevelUp eliminated transaction fees and is to the date the cheapest way to receive mobile payments.

Google Wallet
Google Wallet

Tap and Pay: In theory, using Google Wallet is as easy as downloading the app, linking it to an existing debit or credit card, then tapping your phone to the terminal to pay. It also lets you send cash via email for free (direct deposit), or for a small fee (debit or credit). And you can save your favorite rewards cards to make shopping fast and efficient. Look for the ‘Buy with Google’ sticker.

PayTango: Your Wallet, At Your Fingertips

Paytango goes beyond codes and email. Here, you link your credit card to your fingerprint. Currently, Paytango is partnering with universities to target student populations.

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LevelUp
LevelUp

With LevelUp, you can link your credit card details to a unique QR code reader on your mobile device. Just take your phone to your favorite lunch spot, show your QR code, and get instant perks in exchange for your loyalty or offers when you try new places. Unlike other vendors, LevelUp eliminated transaction fees and is to the date the cheapest way to receive mobile payments.

One Coin to Rule All Cards

Coin doesn’t get rid of all your cards, just all but one. The Kickstarter funded gadget looks like a regular credit card and can be swiped normally, but it holds the key to all your credit cards and lets you choose which one to pay with. To ensure you don’t lose the all powerful Coin, a security alarm goes off on your phone if you walk too far away.

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PayTango: Your Wallet, At Your Fingertips

PayTango associates the cards in your wallet with your fingerprints. It takes two (fingers) to tango!

For more: www.paytango.com

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Square Cash
Square Cash

Square has already made credit card transactions easy and affordable. With Square Cash you can send money via email. Just link your debit card, email the person you want to pay, and put cash@nullsquare.com in copy and the amount in the subject line. Read more.

One Coin for All of Your Cards

Coin – https://onlycoin.com – was featured on Wall Street Journal, The Verge, AllThingsD, Time, NBC, Today Show, CNET, VentureBeat, GigaOm, Entrepreneur, Forbes, ABC News, FastCompany, Engagdet, Inc, Gizmodo, Mashable, BGR, TheNextWeb, PandoDaily, and more!

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2013/11/14/startup-coin-offers-one-credit-card-to-rule-them-all/
http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/14/5103820/coin-electronic-card-to-hold-all-your-credit-cards
http://allthingsd.com/20131114/finally-a-new-way-to-pay-in-stores-that-people-might-actually-use/
http://techland.time.com/2013/11/14/costanza-wallet-load-all-your-credit-cards-into-one-coin-smart-card/
http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/master-card-coin-combines-debit-credit-others-one-2D11591259
http://www.today.com/video/today/53563071/#53563071
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57612054-94/inside-coins-techie-vision-for-the-all-in-one-credit-card/
http://venturebeat.com/2013/11/14/tired-of-a-fat-wallet-coin-lets-you-hold-all-your-cards-in-a-single-connected-card/
http://gigaom.com/2013/11/14/meet-coin-a-startup-creating-a-universal-credit-card/
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229937
http://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2013/11/14/coin-tries-to-make-credit-cards-history/
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/coin-combines-credit-debit-gift-cards-gadget/story?id=20899931
http://www.fastcompany.com/3021654/fast-feed/say-goodbye-to-bulky-wallets-coin-is-the-one-card-to-rule-them-all
http://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2013/11/26342-one-card-replace-coin-crowdfunding-now/
http://www.engadget.com/2013/11/14/coin-credit-card/?ncid=rss_truncated
http://www.inc.com/christine-lagorio/coin-future-of-wallet.html
http://gizmodo.com/this-single-card-wants-to-replace-your-entire-wallet-fu-1463853897
http://mashable.com/2013/11/14/coin-super-credit-card/
http://bgr.com/2013/11/14/coin-preorders-announcement-payment-solution/
http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2013/11/14/meet-coin-single-card-replaces-every-swipeable-card-wallet-purse/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheNextWebPolska+(The+Next+Web+Polska)
http://pandodaily.com/2013/11/14/coin-bets-that-the-future-of-payments-can-be-found-by-improving-credit-cards-not-replacing-them/

LaptopMag
http://blog.laptopmag.com/coin-card-replacement

This Startup Built One Credit Card That Can Store All Your Other Cards That Make Your Wallet Super Thick And Annoying
http://www.businessinsider.com/coin-payments-app-2013-11

TechnoBuffalo
http://www.technobuffalo.com/2013/11/14/coin-wants-to-shrink-your-wallet-into-a-single-card/

Slate
http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/11/15/could_this_card_replace_all_your_other_credit_cards.html

CSMonitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/2013/1114/Coin-Finally-a-solution-to-the-overpacked-mega-wallet

Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/14/coin_n_4276894.html

Gizmodo AU
http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/11/coin-is-the-smart-bank-card-of-the-future/

UberGizmo
http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/11/coin-hopes-to-replace-all-your-cards-with-a-single-solution/

Tech Hive
http://www.techhive.com/article/2063359/fat-wallets-begone-coin-combines-your-payment-plastic-into-a-single-smart-card.html

App Advice
http://appadvice.com/appnn/2013/11/coin-could-compete-with-apples-iwatch-to-become-the-mobile-product-of-2014

LA Times
http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-coin-smartcard-credit-card-crowdfunding-20131115,0,7540692.story#axzz2kdQDwUjK

Discovery News
http://news.discovery.com/tech/gear-and-gadgets/coin-card-replaces-everything-in-your-wallet-131115.htm

PCMag
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2427169,00.asp

CoolMaterial
http://coolmaterial.com/tech/coin-all-in-one-credit-card/

The Ultra Linx
http://theultralinx.com/2013/11/coin-putting-cards.html

Technorati
http://technorati.com/technology/article/coin-could-be-the-one-card/

HomeGrownRadio
http://homegrownradio.net/coin-the-all-in-one-card/

BitShare
http://bitshare.cm/post/66987470601/use-one-coin-for-all-your-cards

Apple-Ninja
http://apple-ninja.com/one-card-to-rule-them-all/

Gotta Be Mobile
http://www.gottabemobile.com/2013/11/14/coin-replaces-credit-cards-one-single-card/

TechSpot
http://www.techspot.com/news/54696-coin-is-the-all-in-one-credit-card-designed-to-slim-down-your-wallet.html

CIO-Today
http://www.cio-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=0320035AUG68

Dvice
http://www.dvice.com/2013-11-14/coin-one-card-rule-all-your-credit-debit-and-loyalty-cards

EliteDaily
http://elitedaily.com/news/technology/coin-universal-remote-equivalent-credit-cards-will-change-pay/

DesignBoom
http://www.designboom.com/technology/coin-bluetooth-payment-system-combines-all-cards-into-one-11-15-2013/

Remove the Labels
http://www.removethelabels.com/2013/11/15/coin-replace-every-one-credit-cards/

WP Central
http://www.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-8-coin-app

Made by Sandwich Video starring Adam Lisagor.

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Stripe
Stripe

Ok, this one is helpful for vendors who still want innovative solutions for card carrying customers, but it’s a good one. Stripe, heavily backed by A-list Silicon Valley investors to the tune of $40 million and available in US, UK, and Ireland, allows online payments without a merchant account and for zero monthly fees. Facebook is testing out an autofill feature.

Square Cash
Square Cash

Square has already made credit card transactions easy and affordable. With Square Cash you can send money via email. Just link your debit card, email the person you want to pay, and put cash@nullsquare.com in copy and the amount in the subject line. Read more.

Stripe
Stripe

Ok, this one is helpful for vendors who still want innovative solutions for card carrying customers, but it’s a good one. Stripe, heavily backed by A-list Silicon Valley investors to the tune of $40 million and available in US, UK, and Ireland, allows online payments without a merchant account and for zero monthly fees. Facebook is testing out an autofill feature.

 

Clearly, there is a trend away from physical wallets and into digital solutions. As for who comes out on top, it will likely come down to usability, range of adaptation, personalization, and savings on transaction fees. Who will you choose?

Feature image credit: LevelUp

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