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With mobile technology, purchasing has never been so easy. Thanks to smartphones, you can literally just “swipe” to pay. Everything seems to be condensing within iPhones and Android phones… no need for cameras, an MP3 player, etc. It is all in one device. So, “swiping” to pay may seem like a big step, but, when put into perspective, it is really just the next thing to become part of the smartphone functions.
I remember having to shove multiple things into my purse: my phone, camera, music player, wallet, etc. In the future, though, the only thing needed may just be our smartphones. Will cash and credit cards disappear completely as a result of mobile technology? It’s hard to know for sure. But an online study showed that 65% of people agreed that by 2020 people will be using smartphones for handling monetary transactions. A March 2012 Federal Reserve report found that 21% of mobile phone owners already use mobile banking services, and another 11% plan to use such services in the next 12 months.
Proponents argue that the “mobile wallet” is far simpler and convenient because it eliminates the need for multiple forms of paper and plastic. Also, because smartphones can track user’s purchases along with location, they can act as a personal shopper to recommend nearby deals. Google chief economist Hal Varian noted that “smartphones seem to have a natural role here.” Such mobile technology systems are already the norm in Japan, so many pundits believe that this trend will continue globally.
As promising as the trend towards mobile banking sounds, there are some major setbacks. For starters, not everyone will use a smartphone. There are also potential risks, such as hackers, market fragmentation, and skepticism over whether or not consumers will feel comfortable storing their financial savings in thin air. Skeptics argue that tangible cash has been around for thousands of years and won’t just go away in a decade.
How will you be making purchases in 2020?
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