Do you remember the days when you would open your wallet and actually see paper money? Paper money has all but been replaced with debit and credit cards, but as technology advances, even those may soon be obsolete. The only reason to carry a wallet will be family photos and a driver’s license.
More and more people are replacing physical credit cards with virtual ones and apps that let you send money through your smart phone.
PayPal revolutionized the way people paid for items on the internet with a new and secure way of sending money. They were also one of the first to allow people to do the same thing with an app for their cell phone.
Soon after, new apps began coming out of the woodwork allowing phones to easily transfer money from one account to another by simply bumping phones. You can also pay for a bill using a cell phone and divide up the individual payments using another app.
These revolutionary apps still required you to punch in numbers and commands to pay for items, but that may also become a thing of the past. Companies such as Google are looking to replace the interface of credit cards that you might find at sites like http://www.moneysupermarket.com/credit-cards/, with virtual wallets.
You simply hold your phone up to a standard scanner and it reads your information and makes the charge. There is no credit card to worry about losing and it’s a secure transaction. This may sound like science fiction, but in some countries, it’s already science fact.
In countries like Kenya, about 70 percent of adults pay for items and services using their smart phone. In these countries, credit card readers have become obsolete. This may be coming to our shores soon using near-field communications technology.
A chip inside your phone holds your credit card information. When you hold the phone up to a scanner for a purchase, the chip provides the information to the scanner and the transaction is done.
NFC is the Future
The Google wallet is still in test phase and not widely available, but it’s coming soon. Verifone, a company that provides card readers to thousands of stores, announced all of their terminals will accept near-field communications by the end of this year.
Analysts expect mobile payments to triple in the coming years. One of the biggest fears people may have using this technology is security. If celebrities can have their phones hacked and information stolen and posted on the web, the worry is that thieves could steal your information with these virtual wallets. It would be a form of digital pickpocketing.
Visa is working on a technology that keeps rogue devices from stealing your information. Their payWave technology works similarly to Google’s’ technology. The customer opens the Visa app and has their phone scanned for the payment. Many cabs in New York as well as the subway system already use this technology and it may soon be coming to stores near you.