NEW YORK (MainStreet)—There is an ever-growing number of digital wallet apps. A quick Google search "Digital Wallet" shows that for the iPhone alone there are more than 30 options from which to choose. That does not include the options available for Android and Windows phones. They will all help you to keep track of your cards and use them when you are shopping. The question is which one will you choose? Today we are going to take a look at one of your options, Lemon Wallet, to see if it is right for you.
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The Basic Functions
Like all digital wallets this app, at its most basic, can be used to store and use a variety of cards. The app takes a photo of the front and the back of the cards. It then stores the information both on your phone and in the cloud. The app will recognize some types of cards, such as My Macy's Rewards card, but less obvious choices will need to be added manually.
Adding cards is easy, but you have to be careful about where you use them. Not all stores are equipped to deal with the scanned versions of the cards.
If they need to scan the magnetic stripe, then you will not be able to use this app. Of course in that situation you won't be using any digital wallet app. So, you can't really fault Lemon Wallet for this one.
Getting rid of a card is a bit of a trick. Once you have entered all of the information about a card accessing the delete menu is a lengthy process. This is a problem if you get an updated card or if you just decide you do not want to share your information with Lemon Wallet anymore.
The app offers a few unique features to paying subscribers. The system allows a user to get a degree of card monitoring, which reports suspicious activity. This is about the same as what you already get from your bank. It's duplication for most of us, but sometimes it is better to have a second set of eyes looking at your transactions. The company won't take action, but they will let you know. That way your card does not get shut down automatically if you go on vacation.
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Another feature is the auto cancellation feature. With the click of one button the company will cancel and request replacements for all of your cards, should they be lost or stolen. Though the question is, do you really want to trust that delicate task to a convenience service? Also, if you happen to have loaded 20 discount cards along with your credit card do you want to have to get all of those replaced because you lost one card? In the end the value of this feature is a matter of personal preference.
When it comes to security, this app offers two levels. The first level of security is found on the device, where you choose a PIN code. The base code is four numbers. The second is the security provided to keep your data safe on the cloud. Joshua A. Marpet, a managing principal at Guarded Risk, assessed the security. "They use an SSL connection to their servers--acceptable," he said. "But only a 4 digit pin for all of your financial information. That's not good." He also wasn't happy about the level of responsiveness found on the user forums, where you might turn for support if things sour.
Even if you are happy with the theoretical level of security practice becomes an issue. This reviewer was able to open the app, and access her cards, several times without being asked to put in the PIN. The rule seems to be that if you have entered all of the information for your card, you will be asked for the pin. If you only took the photos, the data is freely available to anyone who opens the app. That is a concern for any user who simply wants to snap and go securely.
Access and Pricing
The Lemon Wallet app is available for the iPhones, Android phones and Windows phones. The App is a free download. There is a free plan that allows users to store their cards on the cloud for use. The free version only has the basic PIN level of security, allowing users to access the apps data if they can crack the four-digit code. The paid version, with a security enhancement that allows for an eight-digit pin, the card monitoring feature and the lost wallet service comes with a cost. An annual subscription fee of $39.99 per year or $4.99 a month is required for the upgraded version.
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So is Lemon Wallet a lemon? No. This app is a decent choice if all you want to store is loyalty cards and you don't care that you can't delete the data. If however you are looking to store credit cards, or debit cards, then you may want to look for an option with more built in protection, just in case you lose your phone.
--Written by Katie Gatto