When Wallets Become Redundant?
It has already started… There apps to manage your customer cards — like Stocard, there apps to manage your bank accounts — like Centralway Numbrs, and if you choose the right phone cover, you can even store your bank cards in there — so called Wallet Cases, that can easily be found online. So luckily — especially for some women — the wallets and purses are becoming emptier and less heavy. But progress and technology are not stopping. In the not so distant future it might be that wallets can actually be left at home — good for you if you tend to forget your personal belongings at home or somewhere else.
In order to make payments easier and quicker retailers and banks have started to enable contactless payment. Instead of putting your card into the swiping machine, you just hold it close to it and, if both the machine and your card allow contactless payment, the two will connect via near field communication and the transaction will be processed. With a “piep” the machine will indicate that the transaction has been successful. To make this process even faster, there will be no PIN requirement until a certain amount — in Germany it is 25€. Despite making the payment process faster, it also abolishes the annoying search for money and allows customers to keep their card or phone in their hand instead of giving it to the merchant. It will offer seamless transactions for purchases of all types and sizes and there will be more opportunities for disruptive models to find success. The fear of fraud or misuse is not necessary since the contactless payment uses the international EMV standard thus succumbing the same high security standards as the classical version.
Despite the contactless payment, mobile payment is also on the rise. This payment method even makes the credit card redundant. You download an app to your mobile where your bank card is saved digitally on your SIM card. Now you can use your phone as a bank card. Or you have an account at Google Wallet or PayPal that is connected to your bank account. Like the contactless payment you hold your phone in front of the POS-terminal of the merchant to process the payment.
Especially in rather developing countries, mobile banking is increasing drastically due to the different development of technology they´re going through. In India you can now pay with your phone at the small street stalls and vendors that you can find on every street corner around the cities.
Especially in countries where withdrawing cash is expensive or where governments are trying to reduce the cash flow, contactless and mobile payment are experiencing a boom and gaining huge popularity. On the other hand, in countries like Germany, where people like to have an overview of their spending, are very distrustful regarding security measurements and rather use cash than cards, contactless and mobile transactions are conquering the market very slowly. Pilot programs have to run before the new payment methods are allowed for everyone on the market.
Nevertheless technology is advancing and soon hard cash and paper notes will disappear from the market. If this is a good development has to be observed but less coins will make the wallets and the piggy banks lighter, that’s for sure.