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Will the Physical Wallet Become Obsolete?


Wallet ObsoleteWho could forget the scene in the block buster movie “Secretariat” when we watched pint sized jockey Ron Turcotte at a black tie affair surrounded by tall, dazzling gorgeous women.  Ronnie quipped with a smile, “I’m taller when I’m standing on my wallet”.  That was in the early 1970’s. This day in age the physical wallet may be in danger of becoming a thing of the past.

With the rise of on line money transfer companies it is expected that mobile payment alternatives will overtake other, more traditional payment options. As mobile payment options become more common, consumers become confident in the security measures put in place to protect their private and personal information.

Going Digital

Cash and cheques, once consider the mainstay of money transfers, is being ousted by point of sale (POS) terminals and card readers. Most stores from the corner store down the street, local restaurant and big box stores offer different payment methods. It is predicted that a no cash society is just around the corner.

Why are people going digital?

  • It is easy. Consumers can effortlessly have one card that can easily slide through a POS reader. The convenience for merchants is apparent. A simple reader can be set up to receive transactions. Gone are the days of bulging pockets and lost receipts. Online transfers and secure payments can be made easily through internet networks.
  • It is secure. Often security issues prevented consumers and merchant alike from reaping the benefits and advantages of on line payments.
  • It is convenient. Any payment method can be used. Consumers will want to be able to use any payment method that they chose. This could be credit card, gift card, bank account or third party money transfer like PayPal.

Having a Digital Wallet

Telephones have developed from a single use communication device to now being used for music, searching for restaurants, GPS maps and many other uses. Now the phone with smart technology called near field communications (NFC) will be able to use it as a money transfer device.

There are many smartphones on the market that are equipped with NFC chips. This technology will send encrypted data to a receiver or reader a short distance away, hence the name ‘near field’. Most readers are able to read the data from a distance of approximately two cm.

Consumers will have to input their credit card information onto their NFC smartphone to use the NFC devices. The smartphone will store virtual versions of credit cards and can pay for purchases by waving their phone near or tapping them on the reader.

Security Measures

Some consumers are concerned over security issues with the new smartphone technology. This technology is secure as there are added features that allow consumers to ‘lock’, ‘decommission’ and even delete credit cards remotely from the app.

As for Hall of Fame jockey, Ron Turcotte, well, we just don’t know how tall he would be if he could stand on his smart phone.

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