Google Wallet has drawn a lot of attention to the act of making purchases with the tap of a smart phone. It’s considered the first NFC mobile wallet system that, with the SingleTap feature, conducts the transaction, redeems coupon offers and earns loyalty points, all in one step. Visa has said that their payWave system will work with Google Wallet and American Eagle Outfitters, Macy’s, Toys“R”Us and Jamba Juice have stated that they will accept Google’s SingleTap payment in some of their locations.
Using smart phones as wallets is not a new concept, but momentum seems to be growing. In fact just a few weeks ago, Intel and MasterCard announced their alliance to offer a better experience for online shopping. Part of their aim is to provide a safer and simpler checkout process for consumers using devices. If the number of smart phone options and support from financial institutions are any indication, this form of RFID will soon become an integral part of the consumer experience – potentially transforming the retail market.
It will be interesting to see if some shoppers lose control of their spending because of the ease of tapping a phone instead of being forced to take cash out of their wallets or signing a credit card slip. It may be those extra motions that make consumers think twice about whether or not they really need to buy that item.
Is it only a matter of time before we’re all buying our groceries, clothes and gas with digital dollars? Will there come a day when future generations don’t know what paper money is and goods are purchased thought the exchange of virtual credits?
I’ve bought into the convergence of my phone, MP3 player, rolodex, newspaper, video game system, calendar, camera, and much more, into a single device that I carry in my pocket, but for now I’m sticking to the good ol’ American dollar, bread, buck, clam, dough, frogskins, greenbacks, loot, bones, coin, folding stuff, moolah, spondoolies, wonga…