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The Death of the Wallet – Will Mobile Payments Make Currency Obsolete?

Back to Blog  •  Posted on July 10, 2014 by admin


Will mobile payments make currency obsolete? According to the Pew Research Center, more than 50% of all American adults own a smartphone, and that number will continue to rise. The average person can use their mobile device to manage every aspect of their finances. Credit cards, bank accounts, investments, retirement funds, real estate earnings, and almost any other financial account you track can be constantly monitored from the applications on your handheld device. These apps, furthermore, not only allow you to monitor your finances in an instant, but you can also use them to make payments.

Bank applications allow you to transfer money between accounts and make mobile payments on credit card balances, bills, and even mortgages and car loans. Companies such as Starbucks provide apps give you the option to store your gift card balance on your mobile device. You can then pay using your device in the store without ever taking out your wallet. Not only is paying with a smartphone easy, but many companies offer incentives to using their app for payment. Starbucks allows you to accrue stars which can lead to rewards including free refills, free drinks, and discounted merchandise.

A recent invention set to hit the market during the summer of 2014 is the Coin. the Coin is a digital device in the form of a credit card. It allows you to store the information from each of your cards in the device. You can then use the Coin to pay anywhere using any of your cards. With technology like the Coin already replacing not only currency but also traditional debit and credit cards, the fall old-fashioned metal and paper currency might not be far away.

With inventions such as the Coin on the market, it will only be so long before the idea of carrying both your smartphone and wallet becomes inconvenient. You can already have a cashier scan your touchscreen to pay using certain types of cards. It is not drastic to predict that in a few years individuals will be able to store cash and credit cards on mobile devices. The death of the wallet, however, might not occur as soon. Many people will hold on to physical currency and resist change. But eventually currency could become a relic of the past, and mobile payments would emerge as the prominent or sole method of payment.