Pay Phones – No more wallets?

April 18, 2011 at 10:26 am Leave a comment

Can you remember the last time you left home without your phone? It seems that more and more people are attached to their cell phones and it is one of the biggest things that they can’t live without, especially in the younger generations.  I know that if I left home without my phone I would feel as if I were out in public without pants on.  To capitalize on this insecurity that many of us live with, cell phone companies have made it possible to shop with just a swipe of our phones. With such a smart piece of technology on us at all times it’s no wonder that somebody has come up with a way to pay bills with them.

The new technology that is being incorporated is called Near Field Communication or NFC for short.  Starbucks has been one of the first US companies to deploy a widespread release of the NFC technology.  They have allowed customers to pay by smart phone with an app that they built specifically for paying for their coffee in store.  Customers will now be able to come in and scan a barcode with the app that they have in their phone and process a payment accordingly.  This also works in conjunction with their Starbucks Cards and gift cards as well.  As more people catch on to using this novel new way to pay it seems likely that we will see more companies do this sort of thing in the future.

In addition to Starbuck’s venture, Google recently put out its Nexus S this past December which contained an NFC chip. It is also rumored that the next iPhone will also include an NFC chip of it’s own when released. If all phones already came with a chip, an app could be made so that it would be possible to pay at any sort of terminal by whatever device is associated with it. Could this really be the answer to eliminating wallets?

I’m not sure if we’ll ever get rid of wallets and ‘cash’ all together but it would be nice to have to carry less on you when you go out.  In the future maybe it will be possible to carry your ID and some sort of electronic key as well. All of these new innovations will be fun to see come into play over the next few years and will hopefully make it easier to leave home without forgetting important things.  The only problem then would be if your cell phone failed or ran out of batteries.

The site where I found this article is here if anybody is interested in reading more about the topic: Time

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Thanks,

-JP

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