Google announced Thursday of last week that they wanted their Google powered cell phone to be your new wallet. They essentially announced that a new payment system will link your smartphone to your credit card or a reloadable prepaid credit card. The new product is called Google Wallet, and it lets a shopper pay for purchases and access promotional offers right on his or her personal smartphone. This type of technology is widely used in Asia and several other countries. (www.ajc.com)
STOP! Stop right there in your tracks! I am here for the record to say that I truly like my Wallet. Now, I don't quite carry a George Constanza wallet on me, but there is a magical moment that happens when you get to take out your wallet, peek inside to see all of your cards and money, and then prominently display your payment method to the merchant of your choice. As I mentioned in one of my recent blogs 'The Technology Sabbath', its bad enough people don't look you in the face anymore because they are so darn busy looking at their smartphones. Now, you are telling me that when you pay for something at the store you won't even have to talk to someone at the point of purchase?
Everyone says that this new technology called Near Field Communication (NFC) is just a matter time before it is integrated into the way we live our lives. I thought Near Field Communication meant having a face to face conversation with a merchant who owns a local store when you make a payment. Apparently, it just means being near enough to the electronic device in the store that can talk to your electronic device so they can communicate and capture your money. Isn't it just great? I'm kidding. Are we so focused on these technological advancements that we simply have no interest in building any personal relationships whatsoever?
But Ted, having electronic payments will make things quicker and speedier when we go to the store. Have any of you been to the self checkout aisle at a Kroger lately? I think it's pretty funny to watch someone swiping a ten pound bag of dog food only befuddled to figure out where the bar code is on the bag. By the time they are done doing the seven items themselves, they actually cost themselves more time than waiting in the express line. Tell me where the smart money move is that whole deal?
You should keep your wallet because I'll predict what NFC technology will do for you right now. More unwanted texts. More unsolicited coupons. In fact, the next time you walk right through the front door of Banana Republic, POOF! Magically, a coupon will pop up offering you 20% off your next purchase of a pair of pants. You can't take my wallet away from me because I love the feel of it in my hands. What I know for sure is that no mobile coupon will pop up in the back pocket of pants. Not now. Not ever. Take that Google!
Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Co-CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial, Inc
oXYGen Financial, Inc. co-CEO Ted Jenkin is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice and Smart Money Moves to the X and Y Generation.
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