How Your Smart Phone Will Become Your Wallet

A recent a study conducted by the Imagining the Internet Center of Elon University and Internet & American Life Project at the Pew Research Center suggest that mobile payment solutions are set to outpace the use of money by 2020.

The Pew Internet Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center recently surveyed experts such as former special assistant for technology policy for President Barak Obama, Susan Crawford, as well as Google’s chief economist Hal Varian, and some 65% 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.


This should come as no surprise. According to a study conducted in December 2011 by ComScore Inc., over one third of smartphone owners have already used their device to make a purchase of some kind. One industry that is taking advantage is the food industry. 31% of smartphone owners have used their smartphone to purchase food for delivery or pickup. (

There’s several major arguments for your smartphone replacing your wallet. The convenience of having all “all in one” device is an appealing alternative to having to deal with carrying around paper or even plastic. Debit and credit cards have long since become mainstream and as John Pike, a director at put it: “So many people are already accustomed to buying a cup of coffee with a credit card that smart-device swiping is only a very small next step.”

Google has already seen the potential in a brick-and-mortar based mobile payment solution with their introduction of Google Wallet. Google Wallet has enabled smartphone users to use their phone as a payment solution in lieu of cash or plastic and has already hit several major retail locations such as American Eagle, Foot Locker, Gap, Macy’s, and Walgreens. (

Another major argument for the smartphone wallet is security. Anyone can take a stolen debit or credit card and make a purchase in a retail location without much chance of getting caught. Google Wallet, on the other hand, requires you to set up a PIN that needs to be entered before you can make a purchase with the smartphone. This is certainly one of Google’s main selling points as it substantially lowers the risk of monetary loss as when comparing the event of your smartphone being stolen as opposed to your wallet.

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