Apple, Google, and Microsoft have been on the forefront of trying to centralise our lives, either on our mobile devices or PCs, usually via the cloud. To a great extent they have succeeded. All of us here at Geek Power, and I am sure most of you, have in one way or another uploaded part of your lives onto the cloud, our calendars, event organising, pictures etc..
Last week one of our own, Jassen, took the plunge and started using the Apple Pay system and he is loving it. So some of us started discussing the validity, advantages if any and what would it take to actually retire the bulky wallet and replace it with your new sleek smartphone.
The Pros and Cons
I will start with the most invalid argument in my opinion, that the storing information on a phone is unsafe. Carrying your cards on a mobile device is definitely not 100% safe, but then again nothing is. You can carry your cards safer than in your wallet (assuming you have a passcode), even if you don’t, the risk of having your cards on your wallet is greater and contact-less cards have seen to that.
Some argue that it takes longer to authenticate, there are a few instances that we have witnessed this to be true and delaying to authenticate can cause issues, on a tube barrier for instance, especially during busy hours. Although this is probably because it is a relatively new technology, we are sure this will improve soon.
As much as having a wallet is popular and we have gotten used to it, they are annoying. They are bulky, they occupy a lot of space and the chances of you forgetting your wallet are much greater than you forgetting your phone.
So are we ready?
Ich don’t think so. Unfortunately wallets are nowhere near ready for retirement and these are the reasons why.
Money still talks, there are a lot of companies accepting cards, and the number is growing but there are still moments where you need cash, in England and in many places around the world you might catch yourself needing 20 pence to use the loo, or even worse trying to buy a pint and the credit card machines are not working (the horror!), in that case you most likely would need a place to store the cash and the ideal place for that is the wallet. Until every single point of purchase is equipped to handle contact-less you will most likely need your wallet.
Who are you?
Even though we can carry our loyalty cards, credit cards, bank cards and even travel tickets on our phones we cannot carry our IDs on them. You may say ID is no reason since in England we are allowed to walk around without it, for me and many others that is not ideal, I like to carry my ID with me all the time, driving licence or something else similar and not having one with me is unacceptable.
Spare Battery Please?!
Battery, the batteries are a huge issue in this scenario. Let’s say you find yourself leaving a party on the other side of town and you need to take a cab home, your phone battery is dying and by the time you get home you can’t pay for your taxi, or even get on a bus in London for that matter, this can cause a night from being great to crap in a jiffy.
The Apple Pay and Google Pay are excellent alternatives to pay for our purchases, but it does not fully replace the need for a wallet and in my opinion that day will come when we can carry all our wallets contents on our phone in a digital format. Not just credit cards.
Hopefully soon we will be able to get our driving licence, all outlets will let us pay by contact-less, get batteries that will last a decent amount of time and then hopefully we will finally be able to have an extra empty pocket, but until then the wallet will still be my trusted companion.
Main Image by M
in article images source: Wikipedia