How many times have you fumbled at the check-out while you search for the right loyalty card, or stood in the cold while you tried to find your work swipe card?
Our wallets are packed with a variety of plastic cards, cash, photos and ID. Luckily as technology gets smarter, our wallets are getting thinner.
Cash is no longer king
The days of carrying large amounts of cash are long gone. Weekly groceries, clothes and nights out are usually paid for with credit or debit cards. Bills are paid by direct debit and many of us are now using the internet to transfer money directly into an account.
However the loose change in our wallet may also be a thing of the past with many smaller businesses now letting us pay electronically for smaller items, such as our takeaway coffee. Some vending machines and parking meters even accept credit cards.
Credit cards get mobile
Credit cards have had a mobile makeover as many people move to using a pay tag. Sometimes used with a smartphone app, these mini credit card stickers are put on the back of your phone and usually work in the same way as a credit or debit card. What’s more, just like a credit card, payments can be made using PayPass – meaning no signing, less time at the checkout, and one less piece of plastic in your wallet.
Isn’t there an app for that?
Digitally savvy businesses are making their loyalty schemes mobile through pay tags or smartphone apps. All you have to do is download the app, swipe your phone at the counter and it tells you when you’re up for a free coffee or discount off your next purchase.
Mobile membership cards
The smart phone revolution is not only doing away with membership cards, but is also giving added value for members. For instance, there’s now an app that gives you access to 500 gyms nationwide and an app that gives you access to library resources anytime and anywhere.
ID goes electronic
Perhaps the most essential piece of plastic in our wallet is our ID, but even this is going digital. Digital driving licences that can be displayed on smartphones are already being trialled in the United Sates, and the NSW government plans to introduce digital driver's licences over the next four years.
Many businesses have already done away with swipe cards, choosing fingerprints or even cloud technologies to identify or give access to workers.
The tattered picture in our wallet has long been a thing of the past as photos of our loved ones are now kept on our mobile phones.
With convenience key in the digital age, it’s looking more and more like our wallets will be a thing of the past. How many years do they have left? What do you think?