Tuesday, January 25, 2011

No Wallet Required - Use Your Phone Instead

How many credit cards, bank cards, business cards, medical cards, and other papers are you holding in your wallet? How about membership cards from Costco, CVS, the supermarket, all wanting to track you and your purchases. So that bulge in your pocket or pocketbook only gets bigger as more and more companies want to give you another card to hold. Well recently, Starbucks announced that you can buy its coffee with just a wave of your smartphone. And Apple is right there too. "Apple Inc. plans to introduce services that would let customers use its iPhone and iPad computer to make purchases, said Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group." A wave of your phone and your credit card is processing the purchase.

Sure there are always downsides. Your phone could get stolen; so can your wallet. Other problems though could include no battery left to power a transaction or a simple dropped and broken phone could leave you stranded without funds or information. Still there is something to be said for a thinner wallet now that the smartphone has become an equal part of your apparel.

Will Apple be a competitor with the credit card companies? I doubt it, unless Apple would decide to use its cash to buy a company like Pay Pal to handle the transactions. But, I believe that working together could be a win-win partnership for Apple and the credit card companies.