We know that the possibilities of our smart phones are virtually endless. One of the functions that we will see more and more are mobile payment services. Digital wallets are potentially everywhere. But would we, society as a whole, be willing to give up physical money completely?
Google Wallet, Paypal, ISIS (a consortium of telecom operators) and many more are experimenting with new modes of mobile contactless payment. There are developing all sorts of apps, trying new technology, working with banks and stores and run trials on the consumer market. Developments are very exciting. Mobile phones are at the center of payments, retail, advertising and social networks. And they create a rich source of consumer data. A true goldmine for most companies! So, it is not a surprise that so many players envy a stake in this market.
Mobile payment is buzzing in the air and there are wonderful opportunities. It fits perfectly with the new entrepeneurship of the 'gig economy', where all sorts of people start to share and sell home made products and services. But like always, there are also many hurdles. Technology is one thing that needs further investment. More intriguing is the fact that it brings payment into the hands of companies other than banks. The regulatory organizations have to develop new arrangements to ensure security adequately. It gives services providers an extremely rich source of data of people. In addition to everything you can learn from people by their activities online, their spending habits offline, income situation could also become transparent to these service providers. Who owns all that data?
However when the main security issues are solved, consumers will probably appreciate the convenience of mobile wallets. That is a big promise, and may explain for the proliferation of mobile wallet initiatives. And with many players on the market, consumers may have a lot options to choose their prefered service provider. But will they jump onboard that easily? And will all the merchants be convinced of the investment, when other electronic payment systems are operational in almost every store. It is not just a new technology and an interesting app that we are talking about. It is a systemic change, where customers, merchants, banks, regulators and many more have a say.
Meanwhile, traditional money won’t get lost. Hard coins are considered proven technology that has been around for ages. It is effective in all the unofficial economies that are also here to stay. That is, paying the babysitter, cleaning lady and handyman. Real money doesn’t leave digital traces. Sometimes that has a very profound function too.
Image: Mobile payment teminal, in Norway
Photo credits H Lundgard
Read more from us at Futurista blog
Essays and comments posted in World Future Society and THE FUTURIST magazine blog portion of this site are the intellectual property of the authors, who retain full responsibility for and rights to their content. For permission to publish, distribute copies, use excerpts, etc., please contact the author. The opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Future Society takes no stand on what the future will or should be like.
Free Email Newsletter
To sign up for Futurist Update, our free monthly email newsletter, enter your email in the box below and click Save.
August 28, 2014 - Back from an enjoyable vacation that included a visit to Chicago's Museum of Science and Indu
Today, many voice long-familiar concerns about technological unemployment, where computers, robots, and machines are automating our jobs out of existence. In fact, some have gone so far as to call this the “robot jobs Armageddon.” So is this time truly different? Here are six overarching shifts in the world that are causing many to say, “Yes, this time may really be different!”
Self driving cars, 3D printing, robotics, these are just a few of the major technologies that are likely to bring massive disruptions in about every aspect of life. What do we eat? What would our work be like in the future? How do we travel? Where does our energy come from? The Council for the Environment and Infrastructure, the primary strategic advisory board for the Dutch government and parliament in matters relating to the physical environment and infrastructure, has initiated a foresight study to stimulate the public debate about the impact of disruptive technologies. It is not a traditional research project, but includes future imagery, crowd sourcing and technology assessment.
What is harder than finding the right answers? Asking the right questions.
In Zen Buddhism, a koan is a short story or question that is simply worth meditating on. There might not necessarily be a single good answer, but the process of contemplating the question itself is a worthwhile pursuit that may lead to sudden insights or enlightenment.
About a dozen years ago, we asked members of the World Future Society what they thought was the most valuable return for investing in the serious study of trends. We included a summary of their responses in our special report, The Future: An Owner's Manual (September-October 2002, adapted from March-April 2002 FUTURIST). The reasons are still apt today:
Who has better stories to tell than retired CIA officers who were not able to speak before? After over three decades in the CIA, Jack Devine, currently working in corporate intelligence with The Arkin Group (TAG), is now able to share his experiences and wisdom with the public.
Do you control your screens or do they control you? In tomorrow’s digital world you’ll decide what’s on your screens. With a personal paywall you will be paid for your attention. You’ll be able to sell your mind as often as you like.
Bacteria are being genetically modified for a range of roles, including conversion for easier extraction (e.g. coal to gas, or concentrating elements in landfill sites to make extraction easier), making new food sources, carbon fixation, pollutant detection and other sensory roles, clothing and cosmetics, special surface treatments, biodegradable construction or packing materials, self-organizing printing, and more.