Mobile payment technology has received a lot of attention over the past couple of years – particularly since large tech corporations like Apple and Google have gotten involved. We’ve seen new apps, platforms, and hardware come about, but where do things currently stand and what are some of the trends that you need to be made aware of?
3 trends in mobile payments
The way in which people purchase goods and services has changed a lot over the years. Centuries ago, you either bartered with goods that you already had or forked over actual gold and silver to make a purchase. Then coins were made so that business owners didn’t have to weigh precious metals at the time of purchase. Then paper money was developed to serve as a representation of the underlying currency (i.e. gold and silver).
In the 1950s and 1960s, we saw plastic enter the marketplace. Known as charge cards, these cards had to be paid off by the end of the month. Progress a few more years and credit cards became popular. Now customers could buy something on credit and don’t have to pay it off for months (as long as they paid interest). Now we’re in the process of doing away with plastic. In fact, if tech companies had it their way, money would change hands with nothing more than a mobile device or embedded chip.
Things are moving so swiftly that it’s often challenging to keep up, but here are a few of the latest trends in mobile payments:
You’re probably familiar with the term “mobile wallet.” If nothing else, you likely know about Apple Pay and other mobile wallet technologies that allow customers to make purchases by simply touching their smartphone to a sensor.
But what you may not know is that mobile wallets are still a relatively unknown commodity. Not only is security a concern for some, but many believe it makes impulse shopping easier. Both of these factors could negatively impact credit scores.
There isn’t anything inherently wrong with using mobile wallets, though. As long as you use them responsibly, there won’t be any problems. As Credit.com expert Jill Krasny explains, “Credit bureaus can’t tell when you’re using a mobile wallet to make your purchases, just like they can’t tell whether someone is swiping your credit card or punching in its number, said the experts we spoke with. The same goes for credit scoring models that calculate your credit score.”
Anytime you discuss mobile payments, the term Bitcoin is going to come up with. A Bitcoin is a measurement of currency that’s stored in a digital wallet and exists in the cloud or on a user’s computer. The wallet acts as the bank, and the Bitcoin acts as the money. It’s a bit confusing to understand, but Bitcoin is essentially a digital currency in which different encryption techniques are used to facilitate online transactions.
They operate independently of a central bank and no processing fees are attached.
Because the Bitcoin concept is so confusing to outsiders, those in the finance world seriously doubt it will ever take off. (Who’s going to put their money into something (a) they don’t understand and (b) that isn’t widely accepted?) While those heavily vested in Bitcoin claim it’s the currency of the future, it’s hard not to see the signs that it’s dying.
If Bitcoin is in trouble, sharing apps like Venmo and PayPal have a bright future ahead. These apps let friends share money with the click of a button, making it simple to split checks and divvy up money.
Payments of the future
The way in which currency is spent has changed a lot over the years. Clearly, the new direction is away from plastic and towards mobile payments. But just what the future holds is anyone’s guess.
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