How long are we going to keep saying “card” instead of phone, every time we get asked about form of payment?

Joseph Emmi
Oct 31, 2017 · 2 min read

Although the financial and payments landscape has been through a lot of changes for the last couple of decades, the last one has arguably been the most transformative, both in terms of speed and methods.

Yesterday I had a brief chat with the person that sold me my train tickets on this topic. As I never carry cash and I take care of all payments with my iPhone via Apple Pay I normally refer to this as “contactless” when asked the form of payment. However, as many of the people receiver still referring to this as “card” I sometimes do the same to make things easier. This time was the opposite, I said card the ticket seller said to me “phone, is not a card” for which I smile and reply “you are absolutely right.

We briefly discussed the topic and asked him how we should call it, what actually money is these days and will be next after phone payments.

To all this, we agreed that we should just call it contactless or just payment, as eventually all payments are just going to be made by phone, as there probably there won’t be any cards or will become rare, and cash even more.

What is money is a good question, but also a very interesting one if consider the time we are currently facing and how things are evolving. This is a topic that although still palpable is starting to become abstract, not only to the fact that we are heading towards a contactless society sooner than later, but the fact that money per se is already a series of zeros and ones travelling from one account to another. The only difference with that envisioned future is that we still can a get a physical representation of those zeros and ones.

Finally, we discussed what would be next, to what he said “barcodes, I think people are going to have barcodes printed here”, pointing at the bottom of the wrist, and to an extent, he might not be that far-fetched. As the debate and trends go further into biometrics, the future of payment is us, literally, a world where we are going to be the only key to validate and authorise any type of transactions, going beyond our phones, and be able to just pay for things with our “self”.

The paradigm shift is clear, so as we move forward, should we already start thinking of ways to approach these changes, as well as the way we are going to refer to them, or, do we just stick to keep calling them cards until they don’t exist anymore?

The Bridge

A crossroad between Technology, Business and Design

Joseph Emmi

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Technology + Business + Design + Entrepreneurship

The Bridge

A crossroad between Technology, Business and Design

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