Digital payments edge closer with more smartphone apps

As technology advances at a rapid pace, many businesses are looking for ways to increase the convenience of making digital payments in brick and mortar stores.

A large number of companies in numerous different industries are now hard at working developing, testing and releasing smartphone applications tied to digital payment technologies as a means of increasing consumer convenience, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle. Companies ranging from payment processors like Visa, MasterCard and PayPal to tech giants such as Google and even cellphone service providers AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are getting in on the act.

The hope is that these digital payment services, in which a consumer puts their payment information on their smartphone and uses it at tap-to-pay terminals instead of swiping their credit cards, will supplant traditional card use as the technology becomes more ubiquitous.

This type of payment service can potentially be more secure than traditional payments as well, meaning there's less chance for fraud. A great way for consumers to protect their finances is to check their credit report. This may help them find any markings that were reported in an unfair, unsubstantiated, or inaccurate manner.