Most of my friends know that I don’t like to carry cash. I just don’t. Yes, I’ve used a debit card for a $2 purchase, and I don’t find that strange at all. Now, what if I could just use my phone and leave most of the contents of my wallet at home? Sounds tempting, but the real question is: are we ready for it?
Today Google and AMEX have unveiled plans for more mobile payments options:
- American Express Fashions New Android and iOS App Payment System
- American Express challenges PayPal with ‘Serve’ digital payment platform — Engadget
- After Visa, American Express Takes On PayPal With Digital Payments Platform
- Google teams up with MasterCard, Citigroup for NFC mobile payments | VentureBeat
- Google, Mastercard, Citigroup Join Forces for Smartphone Payments #SEWatch
And folks like Stacey Higginbotham of GigaOm and Visual Loop (see infographic below) are asking the legitimate question about when our phones (or a device in general) will replace carrying around money or cards.
I’m not sure either people or mobile OS makers are really ready to make the transition yet. Sure, iOS, Android, and BlackBerry OS are secure enough for most of the things we do day to day, but I don’t think they are ready to serve as a wallet replacement. Could you put all of the connections to your bank on your phone and feel comfortable?
Would we need some kind of two-factor unlock system that before you hit the “money” side of your phone you have to enter a special pin code? Or maybe—and honestly this just occurred to me—having all that information on a single device is really better.
Here’s my thinking. You lose your wallet you have all these pieces of ID and various cards you need to cancel and mange. Lots of calls, lots of wasted time. Now, what if you lose your phone with all the same info. A simple remote wipe takes care of the information. If the systems can be tied together so you inform your carrier that the phone has been lost or stolen, then the phone is remotely wiped and all the cards voided, then you could get a new phone and have all the financial connections re-connected with new info.
I was initially thinking that we’re not ready to have all that sensitive info on our phones, but wallets are just as easy to lose, so the real part that isn’t ready is a central system to reporting everything stolen, voiding cards, and then automatically generating new ones when you get a replacement universal device.
Myself I need try more of these mobile payment apps, so I’m looking forward to the AMEX app being available in Canada. What do you think? Are we ready? Is the banking and financial industry ready?
Sound off in the comments.