We recently read that consumers in Canada are not adopting mobile payments as quickly as in the US or other places. This surprised us, particularly as we have been using Apple Pay at the register for lunch each day and have been extremely satisfied with the experience. The article explains that one of the reasons our northern cousins haven’t latched onto paying with their phones is, “credit cards are easy to use.”
As he started to think about the Canadians’ reticence, Graham took a lap around the office while thumbing through everything on his phone that made his life easier. When he got back, he blurted out, “Why do I still need a wallet?!” and threw his fledgling “Costanza” on the desk. We immediately grabbed it and decided to perform an audit to see if, in fact, the mobile wallet has arrived.
Some small merchants are cash-only. For example, if he abandoned greenbacks right now, Graham would be unable to enjoy his favorite Friday night haunts Big Star and Map Room. But there are plenty of other places where he could go. And companies such as Braintree and Venmo seem to be working on this.
Credit / Debit Cards
Apple Pay has him covered here at stores big and small; most EMV readers, which will be required of all merchants by October 2015 have NFC capabilities.
Graham lives in Illinois, which is too broke to do anything forward-looking, however, there are some states, such as Iowa and Delaware that are rolling out mobile apps that will be the equivalent of carrying a plastic license. We have every reason to believe this trend will catch on nationally.
Graham has Blue Cross Blue Shield and they have an app for that. Also, showing a photo stored on the phone of his card’s info at most doctors’ offices would probably work just as well.
Ventra, the transit payment system in Chicago, is launching an app this year although the touch-and-go payment feature will be developed “later.” Surprisingly, though, the CTA accepts Apple Pay, which eliminates the need for an app altogether.
Plenty of mobile options exist, though none has established itself as the world might not be ready to ditch paper just yet. Nevertheless, among LinkedIn, certain apps, and vCards there are workarounds.
Office Security Pass
Companies such as Kastle offer simple tags that attach to the phone, thus eliminating the need to carry a card or a fob. Also, it’s pretty clear that NFC keyless entry is a trend that’s about to take off, it’s already gaining steam in hotels and homes. Assemble, the site of Mobile Doorman Worldwide HQ does not yet offer either option.
Passport Info Page Photocopy
A holdover from Graham’s time overseas when he didn’t want to carry his actual Passport everyday (he needs to clean out his wallet). It doesn’t appear that old-fashioned passports are going anywhere (no pun intended), but it will be interesting to see if/when countries start to look at mobile technology to replace paper versions.
So, does Graham still need a wallet?
If he wants to get food at his favorite taco joint and drive back to the office, it appears so. But he can clear out most of the items in it, with the rest soon to follow. We hope that with all the extra room in his right front pocket his balance will not be affected.