Creating My Own Digital Wallet

This week I had a scare, I thought I lost my wallet. I'll save you the details but somehow between work, gym, home and a trip to the gas station my wallet missed my bag and ended up rolling around in the trunk of my car and got stuck in the wheel-well. I didn't notice it was missing until the next day when I was rushing off to court and couldn't do anything about it. I spent several hours destroying my house, my office and finally my car before I found it. All the while the possibilities of a million bad things running through my head. How do I cancel all my credit cards? How do I order a new ID? Do I need to worry about identity theft? How do I replace all the other cards in there? My story had a happy ending but I figured this was just a trial run for one day when something bad does happen and I need to be prepared.


We're still a few years off from the true digital wallet and the days when you can leave the house with just your phone, but that doesn't mean I can't keep digital copies of everything in my wallet with me. While digital copies of my drivers license and credit cards may not be legal, they're certainly going to help if and when the time comes that I need to cancel the original documents and order replacements. I've long been an advocate of 1Password (full disclosure they're a sponsor of Mac Power Users) and version 4.0 for iOS has added features allowing stored images to sync to iOS devices that make their digital wallet feature all the more useful.

Using my trusty ScanSnap ix500, I've scanned the front and backs of all the cards I typically carry in my wallet. While I already have card numbers entered in 1Password, having a copy of the actual card can provide additional information that can be of assistance in the event the card is lost or stolen. These images are then stored inside 1Password as an attachment. (If if you don't see the attachment field, click edit and scroll down.) Because my 1Password database is encrypted and protected by my master password I feel these digital copies are even more secure than their physical counterparts. With 1Password 4 on iOS the images now sync across and are available on my iPhone and iPad.

Thankfully I didn't have to test my theory, but I was hopeful the afternoon my wallet was lost that if I was pulled over by law enforcement the officer would take pity on me and accept my 1Password digital copy on my phone. Surely it would have been better than nothing at all.