As odd as it sounds, the age of the wallet may be coming to an end. That’s not to say that we’re entering a world where we no longer need to pay for things (though if wishing made it so…), but soon our phone may be the only payment method we need. Downloading a few fantastic apps can let us throw away our wallets and use our phones to get us through the day.
One of the most ubiquitous and useful apps is square wallet. This app links to any credit or debit card, then helps you find retailers that allow you to pay with the square. Using your location, it provides a list of nearby stores where you can pay simply by using this app. The amazing thing about square is that this is not a simple scan set up. Instead, you put your name and a picture of yourself on the app, which will appear on the retailer’s screen. At check out, you give your name, the retailer checks your identity by glancing at the photo you’ve uploaded, and the payment is automatically deducted. You don’t have to dig your phone out of your bag or even open this app. Simply saying your name is enough.
For those with Android phones, Google Wallet provides a method to store all your credit and debit cards in the cloud. At retailers, you can pay with a single click and choose which card you’d like to use. One incredible benefit to this is that the cards are stored online regardless of what interface you’re using. This means you can go to a store and use your Android phone, then log onto your work computer and buy some much needed business supplies, and at home, use your tablet to plan and pay for your upcoming vacation. You don’t have to re-enter all your information on every device. Instead, Google Wallet maintains your information wherever you go.
This application works with Apple Phones and is most useful for reward memberships rather than virtual payments. Rather than carrying around a huge keychain filled with the various reward memberships you use nearly every day, you can tie the member numbers to passbook. Once you scan your reward card onto this app, you can throw away the physical card, and instead store everything in one convenient location. Even better, the Passbook will automatically downloaded coupons to those stores you frequent the most, so you never have to worry about having the right coupon on hand. Some stores, like Starbucks, even tie their cards to Passbook so you can pay directly from the app.
To be sure, there is a lifestyle change that is quickly occurring in this country. Smart phones are becoming easier to use than credit cards, and businesses are becoming part of the mobile revolution. Soon, all you’ll need to face the day is a set of keys and your phone.