Stop stretching your pockets

in Products Technology
by Nick Lee

Want to stop stretching your pockets with that bulging wallet packed with credit cards, debit cards and loyalty cards? Well Google Wallet launches this summer which is another step towards leaving your wallet behind and banking via your mobile phone.

Currency the world over has moved from coins to notes to cards and now the next significant change appears to be mobile. Using NFC (Near Field Communications) technology Google wallet will allow you to make payments, claim and redeem loyalty points all in a single tap at participating terminals. And with Google launching its Groupon competitor yesterday, Google Offers, this will become even more seamless. Instead of printing out a coupon or barcode, completed offers are saved to a user’s Google Wallet, where they are automatically saved and are redeemable.

Within the UK, Orange and Barclaycard launched Quick Tap in May allowing users to make purchases up to £15. Granted this will initially be used for convenience purchases at participating retailers such as EAT, Pret and Subway but it will be interesting to see how this adoption grows as more mobile phones get equipped with the NFC technology.

Google wallet is available as an Android App and Google has been pushing to get the NFC chips into Android phones since 2010. Apple have been slower out of the starting blocks but it is strongly rumoured that the iPhone 5 will feature digital wallet technology. However it is estimated that only 10-15% of all smartphones currently have the NFC technology so this transformation clearly won’t happen overnight.

Despite the potentially slow roll out, I’m certainly looking forward to carrying one less item and spending less time queuing!