The traditional wallet is about to go the way of the tape player.
A majority of Internet experts believe that it will only take eight years to nearly phase out cash or credit cards, according to a study conducted by Pew.
The Pew Internet Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center asked experts if they agreed with the following statement:
“By 2020, most people will have embraced and fully adopted the use of smart-device swiping for purchases they make, nearly eliminating the need for cash or credit cards. People will come to trust and rely on personal hardware and software for handling monetary transactions over the Internet and in stores. Cash and credit cards will have mostly disappeared from many of the transactions that occur in advanced countries.”
Some 65 percent said they agreed with the statement, with a number saying that the new monetary system would be carried by younger generations while their parents and grandparents follow slowly.
“There is nothing more imaginary than a monetary system,” Susan Crawford, Harvard professor and formerly a special assistant for technology policy for President Barack Obama, told Pew. “The idea that we solemnly hand around printed slips of paper in exchange for food and water shows just how trusting and fond of patterned behavior we human beings are. So why not take the next step? Of course we'll move to even more abstract representations of value.”
Smartphones and similar devices can communicate through a short-range radio connection known as near-field communication, or NFC, which is used to transfer data and transactions.
NFC is being utilized in new-age payment systems like Google Wallet, a system built by the Silicon Valley giant that allows users to pay for products by tapping their device on readers that access payment information stored on a cloud server.