By Kate Lewis
We all have experienced that moment when you are walking up to the grocery store to do your weekly shopping, when all of a sudden you are attacked by the girls in green vests. Girl Scouts, more specifically Girl Scout Cookies, are hard to resist and the one reliable excuse to get out of buying them has always been, “I’m so sorry I don’t have any cash with me!” Easy way out, and most (some) of the time a valid reason.
But in today’s technological society that is not the case anymore.
Square? Since when in the world do Girl Scouts have Square?
Digital-Payments technology is transforming our daily lives as it changes our contemporary financial system. Unlike cash or a credit card, a mobile phone can display all interactive payment details, and only requires the download of an app and a link to a bank account. As Paypal President David Marcus calls it, “Money 3.0.”
Mobile payment systems are divided into many types such as SMS payment, NFC payment and payments via mobile app. They benefit both customers and businesses. For customers, conveniences and security are the two primary benefits.
For businesses, it costs a lot less to use a mobile card reader or barcode scanner than to have a credit card terminal from a bank, and encourages a lot more engagement with the customers as the purchase process becomes easier.
The following are some of the most popular mobile payment systems being used:
Not just for Girl Scouts. Square allows merchants to accept mobile credit card payments via plastic card swipe that can be inserted into the headphone jack.
Venmo launched in 2013. Friends use Venmo to split payment on things, and it is becoming true that if you do not have Venmo to pay someone back, then getting cash from that person could be extremely inconvenient. People also do not just love the payment concept of Venmo, they like the fact that you can have a sneak peek at what transactions everyone else is making. Simply link up a debit card, find your friends, and there you have it. Venmo is currently known as the most convenient and easy-to-use option of the current mobile payment apps out there.
Google Wallet allows people to send and receive money from any mobile device. It also allows the user to store their credit cards and other payment methods on their phone, all in one app.
Apple Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet application. It lets users make payments with any Apple product in just a touch. It is a safe, and private way to hold your wallet on your phone.
No other online channel is driving retail sales and referral traffic like social media. In the last few years, the merging of social media and payments has increased drastically, and will continue so long as our technology develops. We could one day see a financial system that is completely wiped away from the use of cash. Cash is expensive, and a lot harder to keep track of. Each year the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing spends $660 million producing new dollar bills. Imagine what else could be done with that money if it weren’t spent printing $$$.
Choosing a payment method relies on one’s personal view of the security and convenience of the transaction method. However as digital-payments technology continues to develop, we may begin to see a financial system that shifts away from the cold hard cash and plastic system we have known for so long, and venture into the world of virtually-driven transactions.