Look in your wallet – you probably don’t have much in the way of paper money. These days, with 40% of adults able to go cashless for an entire week, the only people who still like cash are elderly people and pickpockets. Right now that means debit and credit cards are the norm, but eventually, all your finances will migrate onto your phone. Today, mobile payments are gathering steam, and already benefiting individuals in ways cash hasn’t – for example, it’s been one of the only ways to get aid to drought-ravaged Somalia – but there are some big drawbacks: folks are afraid of being hacked and being tracked. But there is still time to iron out the kinks – ‘cause the new iPhone doesn’t have NFC technology.
“In most Swedish cities, public buses don’t accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cell phone text message…some bank offices — which make money on electronic transactions — have stopped handling cash altogether…Bills and coins represent only 3 percent of Sweden’s economy, compared to an average of 9 percent in the eurozone and 7 percent in the U.S., according to the Bank for International Settlements, an umbrella organization for the world’s central banks” (CBS News).
“Money never goes out of style, but the paper version seems to have lost some appeal: Able to buy stuff with debit cards, credit cards, and even mobile phones, two in five adults have gone cashless for an entire week, according to a recent survey by Rasmussen Reports” (CNN Money).
“In addition to Square and similar start-ups, many types of businesses are hoping to make a grab at the mobile wallet market, including phone carriers, credit card companies and big tech companies like Google and Microsoft… While competition in a market is typically a good thing, giving consumers many different options to make a mobile payment could leave them baffled. Charles S. Golvin, a Forrester analyst who focuses on mobile technology, said that in order for a mobile wallet product to gain traction, it would need to be an open system that allowed customers to pay for anything, anywhere” (New York Times).
People already spend more with credit than with cash. When every purchase is even more frictionless – a tap away – how can we control ourselves?