At one point in the world there was this thing called a checkbook and people would spend all this time writing in information so they could pay for their groceries or what not. It was long and tedious and usually pissed off everyone in line. While we had checks we also had cash. People would have to dig through their wallets and purses to find the right amount and if they didn’t have enough well then they were a bit out of luck. While these two things still exist, they might as well not. I personally never carry cash on me and my checkbook is only every used for online check transactions. The way of the word is the debit and credit cards, but not even the physical versions of them. Like I was mentioning in my last blog, phones have taken over the world and now you can pay almost anything with your phone. If you can’t tell already today’s topic is about Mobile Payment.
Smartphones have become the new credit cards. There are many apps out in the smart phone world where you can put all your credit/debit information in and pay for everything. I personally don’t like the idea because I like having a physical card in my hand but I can see the draw to it. It makes life easier and you never have to worry about losing your wallet or the card itself. I mean who really loses their phone these days? If we are more than a foot away from it people start to panic. It’s a great solution for a problem that was never really there, but that could just be the pessimist in me talking.
Talking about these apps , Google(http://www.google.com/wallet/) has an app: Google Wallet. What is weird about this app is it only available for Android phones, which might be the reason that this product is not profiting. That doesn’t seem to faze Google though because it isn’t money they are wanting. It is your information. Think of the information you are giving these companies. They know more now than you ever wanted them to know and once again you gave it to them freely.
LevelUp(https://www.thelevelup.com/) also as an app. I would say this app is better than the Google Wallet because it can be used on a smart phone. There are up to 5,000+ locations that you can use the app and they even give you rewards, depending on what new places you have tried. What I do like about this app and about the concept of mobile payment is how it helps the businesses. LevelUp states on their website “LevelUp charges a flat 2% payment processing fee. It’s that simple. No hidden fees. No monthly fees. Just 2%. And we pay out directly to your bank account next day, every day.” LevelUp wants to save the businesses money and wants to help them make money in an easy and helpful way. Also for the businesses side the history of people who came to your store is a great perk of this app. Businesses can generate campaigns and reports about people who use the app to come to their business.
All in all, this is the way of the world. Soon we won’t have phones anymore and our credit/debit information will be implanted into our thumbs. You can attempt to hold out but it won’t last long. If you are a business I suggest you get on this train and begin allowing this to happen. It will be great for your business once the consumers get more on board.
Before I end this post I want to bring up one more topic, relating to virtual payment: Bitcoin.
If you are like me then you have never heard about Bitcoin. Bitcoin was created in 2009 by a pseudonymous hacker who calls himself Satoshi Nakamoto. This product is a form of virtual cash, that is used to buy goods and services online. There is no backing by the government or a central bank and the value is created purely by demand. Don’t worry this won’t replace cash anytime soon but it is defiantly getting up there in popularity, especially in Canada. Below is a picture of a Bitcoin ATM.
These ATM’s have been placed in Canada. People can put money in to have virtual coins or they can get money out. The bitcoins are transferred to and from the customer’s online bitcoin wallet. I really don’t see how this is any better than a normal ATM but this process is a lot cheaper than accepting Visa or MasterCard. It is supposed to be extremely secure but this can be used for illegal activity. Bitcoin had been used as a front to buy illegal drugs and I honestly think I am going to pass on this new fad. In the words of Barney Stinson.