I’m a huge believer of the internet and think that everything should be doable on the web. We humans do not use the power of technology to the best of it’s capability, and while we are taking steps every day to work toward doing just that, we will always be behind on a few things.
One such thing is payment methods.
Credit and debit cards have been around for decades. They weren’t as widely used before, but they were around, and other than the addition of some data chips, they use the same technology.
That technology is quickly becoming out-dated and irrelevant.
I remember saying to my friend, “I wish we could just scan our phones to pay for things”, as I dug for my credit card in my wallet. I have thought that often when I have forgotten my card at home, or the time my wallet was stolen.
Soon we will likely be able to use our phones as virtual wallets. Making payments with a phone isn't something that is unlikely; in fact, some credit card companies are trying to transition into electronic payment methods, like American Express credit cards.
There will be some pros and cons of a mobile payment structure, such as the following:
Pros of Mobile Payments
It will inevitably be super convenient to pay for goods and services with your phone. You won't have to carry a whole bunch of cards around and, I don't know about you, but my phone is always nearby. I have lost several debit cards over the past decade of having them, but never a phone.
Safety and Security
Many people may disagree, but I would say that having a mobile payment system instead of an actual plastic card would be far more secure. You can protect your phone with a password, and make it erase it's memory after 10 failed attempts at guessing the password; while many cards do require a pin to use them, not all of them do, and online payments don't. This leaves you vulnerable to fraud.
Cons of Mobile Payments
It's safe to say that the vast majority of the population of the developed world under the age of 60 has a smart phone, but there are still plenty of people who don't have them, and they can be quite expensive. If you need a smart phone for mobile payments, it can deter those people that don't have one.
Smart phones are expensive so it can increase the cost of consumerism substantially.
The most frustrating thing is when your phone dies in the middle of the day. I've been there. I imagine it would be far more frustrating if your phone died and your methods of payment died with it. I could just see myself stuck at the grocery store with a dead phone and no way of paying for groceries.
There are other big considerations when analyzing the feasibility and benefits of mobile payments, but I think it would be a step in the right direction for the credit card world.