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When the Wallet Disappears
January 15, 2016
Everyone has lost their wallet or has at least seen it happen to a friend before. Quickly backtracking to all the places you had been previously asking everyone in the vicinity if they'd seen your wallet. Almost going crazy because it holds all the things you need to carry around on a daily basis: your identification cards, your cash, and most importantly, your credit cards. Replacing your credit cards are a pain, because you have to call it in, they have to freeze your account and mail you replacement. And it could be worse, if someone had found and used your card, you would have to wait for the bank to investigate, and well we all know it's more hassle than we would like. But all this could disappear, if you didn't need to carry a wallet.
Welcome to the ever changing state of our world, where things like needs for a wallet are disappearing. Mobile payments have been the talk of the industry for a while now. With mobile pay there's no need to bring your payment cards, just your phone. As the technological era continues to advance, we see the number of uses of the modern day smartphone grow. The way Ilya Pozin from Forbes explains mobile pay is this: "Broadly, they rely on near field communication (NFC), tokenization, fingerprint readers and a mix of other technologies to provide a seamless option for users."
Banks like TD or CIBC are offering mobile payment as an option by linking your card onto the mobile app. This allows us to basically use these cards with "tap" without actually needing the physical card. Integrating it into your smartphone, it eliminates the need to carry around a bulky wallet with numerous cards and cash.
Many of the major tech giants are working on their own mobile payment methods like Apple Pay, Google's Android Pay, and Samsung Pay. None of these companies expect to become a "leader" in the payment area, they're connected by the idea of integrating more into the existing platforms of their companies. Adding to the value that is offered to their current customers is the goal. They don't aim to become a "leader" when it comes to the payment space, but most definitely demonstrate their support in growing the industry and the direction it is moving in.
Companies like Apple have an incredibly loyal customer base, and by offering a payment service, they enable their customers to give back into the company. By giving customers a better deal, options for discounts rather than a small percentage of cash back, Apple Pay can allow a person to skip all the fees and taxes applied on credit cards and they can offer rewards back into their products. We know that Apple products are pricey and many desire to own them; Apple could offer iTunes credits or credits that can be used towards purchasing products in the Apple Store.
The reason that so many companies including many startups are working towards this mobile payment option is because it increases ease of use, and simplifies your transactions. Service companies like Venmo and Square build a large user base simply because they offer something many people find efficient and convenient. Their services solve a problem that is shared between the end users. By allowing the transfer of money without needing to physically handle cash reduces a lot of time and effort involved the transaction, and people like convenience.
Eventually the need to carry a wallet will be obsolete and people will only need one personal item to handle everything, a smartphone. Of course, mobile security will become a much more sophisticated concept when this happens, and our technology will have to have evolved with each industry to provide the appropriate precautions. What do you think will happen when the wallets disappear?