If anyone still doubts that we’re in the midst of a cashless revolution, perhaps the Fortune magazine headline heralding “The Death of Cash” will help convince you.
Fortune’s last issue featured a cover story on the rise of mobile payment options; the article, also available on the web, takes a look at the various options available for mobile payment, discussing both the benefits and roadblocks of the mobile payment industry.
Although the story focuses largely on start-up company Square, it also provides an interesting glimpse into the potential future of mobile payment – and there’s a lot more than just payment happening in that future. Fortune envisions a scenario in which the smartphone in your pocket would not only allow you to pay for a purchase, it would also offer discounts, help you comparison shop, and replace the slew of store loyalty cards on your keychain. And if you’re not completing transactions via phone, the stores you shop at might be, as companies like Square are offering easy ways for retailers to accept credit cards using mobile devices.
This enticing future isn’t going to come hassle-free, and Fortune sums up a major part of the problem by comparing mobile payment to the old chicken-or-the-egg conundrum: merchants don’t want to buy in until mobile payment becomes more mainstream, but users won’t sign up until they can use their mobile wallet in more locations.
If you ask us, that’s why all those bonus features seem so attractive – added benefits like discounts, comparison shopping, and rewards programs are the perfect way to get customers excited about mobile payment even before it sees widespread use. After all, everyone loves to save money!