Who needs a wallet?

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Long time readers know my personal obsession with the mobile phone as a post industrial platform for social and economic development, particularly in emerging markets, so this parking meter outside Edinburgh Castle caught my eye. You can pay by phone – obviously as the graphics show – and step by step instructions are given on the front showing the various means by which the parking meter’s hunger can be satiated.

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They say that all one really needs these days to step out of the house are your wallet, keys and purse, but as advances in funds transfer and banking in the UK and Singapore [recent advertisement from The Straits Times shown above] demonstrate, soon the wallet, credit cards and paper money might just be history. What do you think of the impact of this would be on our consumer society?

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2 Responses to Who needs a wallet?

  1. Jason Drohn says:

    It should be interesting. We all know that people who pay by credit cards spend up to 18% more, what will happen when all we have to do is wave our cell phone in front of a reader?

  2. Niti Bhan says:

    That’s a valid point, Jason. But I do wonder if it may go the opposite route, since mobile payments are for the most part either based on how much you actually have in your bank account, unlike a credit card, say, or how much you may have topped up in your prepaid SIM card. We might find ourselves being more frugal ironically…

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