The Mobile Wallet
So I’ve been reading about mobile payment options for a little bit now, it’s kind of daunting, kind of exciting. Daunting because it’s more information you’re handing over to someone, it’s a new platform that is no doubt going to be targeted by hackers, the list can go on. Exciting because that day you’ve been dreaming of where everything is revolving around your mobile phone – purchasing, stereo, navigation, etc, that day is getting closer and closer. Google just dropped their (mobile) wallet and Square also a ‘card case’ and then there’s the rise of other mobile payment options – PayPal, Mastercard, even Foursquare are getting in on it, and you can bet Facey have something in the pipeline…
So what does this mean for us? That all depends on how you view the concept of a mobile wallet or even a mobile world. Some people are still getting used to concept of a smartphone – facebook, photos, emails – others have embraced it and use their phone for all and sundry (not an easy feat if your telco isn’t performing) Depending on where you sit on the scale, the rise of the mobile wallet might be something that gets you rather excited. There have been two recent releases in the mobile wallet world that have gained a lot of attention – Google’s Mobile Wallet and Square’s Card Case >
Google’s mobile wallet have just dropped their wallet, (which is better then leaving it n El Segundo) into the newsfeed and are releasing it shortly. It’s similar to the pay pass system in function that Mastercard are blasting out, but it’s different in that allows for rewards, prepaid cards and gift cards. It’s probably not as quick to use as paypass either – but – I’ve yet to use it.
Another one that holds a lot promise but is yet to get solid traction is Square. They’ve just introduced what they’re calling the ‘card case‘. Previously they got a lot of attention with their card reader that turns any iPad/iPhone into a register, it’s a pretty neat concept that I personally hop really takes off. I guess security fears/education are probably the biggest hurdle. What Square has developed is quite nice but going off the videos you watch, etc it seems there is still too many steps and is kind of cumbersome.
Overall, I’d say both apps are still slower then pulling cash out of your wallet, but we aren’t about cash here. We are about better ways to carry, and being able to walk around sans wallet and free of pocket bulge is definitely an attractive thought. This whole mobile wallet concept is worth keeping your eye on.
PS Check this article about Lockitron and using your phone as your key. Would be a great tool incorporated with Foursquare’s geolocation setup, imagine the secret societies using it haha.