I drive my wife crazy on a weekly basis it seems. It tends to happen when she asks if I’ve got any loose change.
I don’t. I very rarely do. At work, the vending machines and the staff restaurant – they’re all “tap to pay”. When I go to fill up the car, it’s a “Pay at the Pump” system and I just push the card in.
Only when I go to a barbers, or to a chip shop, do I suddenly feel the necessity for cash. For everything else, I’m just tapping away with a card. My contactless card has made cash almost obsolete and I’ve even got a new super-slim wallet which houses just my cards. There’s no little pouch for coins at all, so if I do have any of those, they just end up in my pocket or rolling about in the car.
However, as I’ve mentioned before, you don’t really need to carry a wallet either. Just a few years ago, most people would never have dreamed that it would be possible to carry around a device in their pocket which has the capability of performing most, if not all, of the functions of a computer. Now people are buying traditional desktop computers less and that pocket device is also your wallet too.
Whilst we haven’t totally removed the need actual money, it is possible to store money and make transactions using your smartphone. Here’s a look at just some of the options…
Circle is a relatively new mobile app, released in 2013, but one which is already changing the game when it comes to making payments using your phone. The app is designed to allow people to transfer money between their friends without any hidden fees. You can send, receive and request money via the app, and you can get it via the App Store and Google Play. Users store their card details and then make transfers instantly. If you don’t want to add your card details to your account, you can choose to add money to your account instead directly from your bank account or debit card. Circle is using the latest blockchain technology, which is best known for enabling people to make payments with Bitcoin, to allow almost instantaneous transfers.
PayPal’s Mobile App
Ever “bumped phones” ? Well, the PayPal mobile app will let you access your PayPal account and make quick and easy transfers simply by touching phones together. If this doesn’t work, you can still transfer by email. The app makes it quick and easy to settle debts between friends, although it’s not possible to tap-to-pay just yet with the app.
We’ve all received gift cards for our birthdays or Christmas, only to forget about them and leave them unclaimed in our wallets until they expire. Yeah. That’s me. I found an old Woolworths gift card in the loft some years ago.
Now you can “gift” via email too. You can send a “virtual gift card” with Gyft, which is available on Android and iPhone. It also allows users to send their unwanted gift cards to friends and family. The app is a highly convenient way of storing money as users can check the balance of their gift cards whenever they want to.