Our cell phones are replacing everything. Now even our wallets are being replaced. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to get rid of that bump in their back pockets or purses? Near field communication technology, along with online payment services (ie. Google Wallet and Paypal), are making payments using smartphones possible. Apps like Mint help to keep track of personal finances. Now there’s an app that becomes a digital backup of everything in your wallet.
Lemon, a company that already develops a receipt and spending tracker in Lemon Receipts, have released Lemon Wallet that goes far beyond and provides a digital backup of everything in your wallet, including your receipts.
There are two main functions that make Lemon Wallet a good digital backup of your wallet: tracking of spending and backing up of important cards.
Receipt and Spending Tracking
The original Lemon Receipts app already brought us the ability to take a snapshot of receipts, scan them using OCR technology, and automatically organize and keep track of them. If you’re not familiar with the app, that’s okay because this task is also included in the Lemon Wallet app.
Viewing and organising receipts in Lemon Wallet
Lemon Wallet makes it really easy to keep track of receipts because of the cool technology that is OCR, which basically means it can take a picture of a receipt and extract the text from it. It can even tell what the text means — store name, type of spending, amount spent, and so on. This means that all you have to do is snap a picture of the receipt using the app, and it does the processing for you.
The free version doesn’t give you the line by line items on each receipt, only the pro version does. However, both versions can process the type of spending and total amounts, giving you a good idea of where your money is going.
Digital Backup of Cards in Your Wallet
The cool new feature the team at Lemon provides is the ability to carry around a digital backup of all the cards in your wallet. No more running to grab it for credit card information! And in many cases, you no longer need to carry that bulging wallet in your back pocket.
Just like it does with receipts, Lemon Wallet uses OCR technology to snap pictures of the front and back of your cards and extract the information for easy retrieval. The app keeps track of the type of card you have pictures of and keeps them categorized for you for easy finding when you need them.
Card types and avatar
The information on credit cards is condensed into what they call avatars. These include the name of the card, type of card, credit card number, expiration date and security code. This way, when you have a purchase you want to complete, everything is right there for you.
As you can tell so far, many of the features of Lemon Wallet are geared towards making life easier. In fact, if you are looking to make purchases online using a card on file, copying the card number is as simple as touching the avatar. When you do that, the number is copied to the clipboard and is ready for you to paste it wherever.
Original Copies Are Kept For You Too
Even though OCR is cool and Lemon does a good job of scanning photos of receipts and cards to pull all the information for you, you might still need to see the original photo, whether it be for more details or to double check some of the information (OCR isn’t perfect, you know)? Don’t worry, Lemon Wallet keeps the original photos for you.
Lemon Wallet keeps the originals
But Is Lemon Wallet Secure?
One important aspect of Lemon Wallet is that it’s secure — seriously, who would want to save credit cards in an app that doesn’t provide a tight security? This was truly one of my concerns before snapping pictures of my own credit cards for the app. What if my phone gets stolen? What if Lemon knows, uses or leaks my card information?
There’s a couple of security features that should answer some of those questions. First, Lemon Wallet on your phone is locked down with a personal identification number (PIN) of your choosing. This way someone can’t pick up your phone and run across your credit card information. Also, your information is hidden behind 256-bit encryption on the Lemon.com cloud. For more security information, check out their Security page.
Make sure when you snap the photos of receipts and cards through the Lemon Wallet app that your phone doesn’t keep a copy of the image in the image gallery.
As you can see, Lemon Wallet has a good combination of tools that make it a good digital backup of your wallet as well as a good way to track daily spending. You can now leave your wallet home and still have secure access to card numbers and other information. Personally, I can see the potential of apps like Lemon Wallet. Combine it with other emerging mobile purchasing technologies and we’re already closer to fully replacing our wallets by our phones.