News / Science & Technology

With Instant-Pay Apps, Wallets Can Stay Home

Ted Landphair
A lot of people gave up carrying much cash a long time ago, since they knew “plastic” - a credit or debit card, or a store or public transit “smart card” - would be accepted just about everywhere.

But to hear tech companies tell it, plastic cards will be museum pieces as well before long.
Smartphone online payment apps could soon make wallets, and plastic credit cards, obsolete. (denharsh, Flickr Creative Commons)Smartphone online payment apps could soon make wallets, and plastic credit cards, obsolete. (denharsh, Flickr Creative Commons)
x
Smartphone online payment apps could soon make wallets, and plastic credit cards, obsolete. (denharsh, Flickr Creative Commons)
Smartphone online payment apps could soon make wallets, and plastic credit cards, obsolete. (denharsh, Flickr Creative Commons)

It’s all because young people, in particular, love their mobile devices so much - and despise the time-wasting process of digging out a credit card, presenting it to a clerk or swiping it on a card reader, waiting for the sale to be approved, then writing their signatures on a paper receipt or the reader.

It’s all so 20th Century.

So companies such as Google developed technology that allows customers to simply wave their phones against a reader. It instantly picks up the product and your account information, confirms the sale, and sends a receipt to your phone.  

The idea has come so far that technology inside some stores - or even on the street near one - can detect that your handheld phone or other device is in the area and send you quick messages, telling you about sales or special discounts.  

And all that’s getting a run from an even newer application, called “Card Case,” devised by the payments company Square. With it, you walk into a store, or pass a vendor on the street who has the right technology, and see something you’d like to buy.  

You simply give the salesperson your name, and he or she calls it up on a small screen. If the picture there matches you, the device instantly checks your balance and approves the sale, and the item is yours. No swiping. No signing. No receipt. The details of the transaction show up on your phone.

“In one case, I walked into Pinkie’s Bakery [in San Francisco] and asked for a cupcake,” tech writer Farhad Manjoo wrote in the online magazine Slate.  

“The cashier told me my total, and I said, ‘Put it on Farhad’s tab.’  She saw my name and photo on her iPad, tapped it, and I was done.  The experience was magical - almost creepy.”

“Bye-bye, Wallets,” wrote Time magazine when reviewing this trend last month. Its technology writer, Harry McCracken, went a whole week without carrying one.  

Or almost a whole week. At a baseball game, his “Google Wallet” payment app wouldn’t work. Since he had no physical wallet he was, he wrote, “reduced to begging [my] wife for beer.”

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid