Mobile Development – Is your wallet obsolete?

Mobile Development – Is your wallet obsolete?

150 150 Yoel Sommer

I had the opportunity today to use my iPhone as a payment method to buy my tea at Starbucks. I was surprised by simplicity of the process. By downloading an iPhone app, you able to add your Starbucks card.

When you click on the pay now button, the application presents a bar code which the barista at starbucks can scan with a bar code scanner. Your card information is sent to the Starbucks server which verifies the card and the amount to be deducted and processes the payment. pretty straight forward, right?

This made me think, our wallet is becoming obsolete. Who needs to carry a container for plastic cards like a driver license, credit card, gym membership etc. everything can be on your phone. Your driver license could be displayed with unique barcode (as most of them already have). Anyone with a barcode and an internet connection could verify its authenticity. The same goes for your credit card.

I think the main concern will be security. How could you secure that the information on the phone is encrypted and can be stolen or hacked to? I think the technology is there, but I think as with all new technology, people will be resistent at first. There are still people out there that do not like to use credit card or purchase online.

What do you think? Are you ready to throw out your wallet and replace it with your phone?

— UPDATE: I guess our wallet will be replaced by our phone sooner that I expected…