Tech

Digital Wallets & More: Tap, Pay & Be on Your Way

Where we’re going, we don’t need wallets. Shopping innovations like peer-to-peer payment apps, cashierless stores and digital wallets are changing the way we buy things in the real world. In some tech-happy countries, cash is all but obsolete already: nearly half of all Chinese phone owners use mobile wallets, and in Sweden, fewer than 15% of shoppers recall using cash within the last year. By 2022, the transaction value on mobile payment apps is estimated to reach $14 billion.1

Here’s how these new mobile technologies work and why they’re making shopping faster, safer and more convenient.

Digital Wallets

With a digital wallet, you can use an app to store your payment information on your phone and make purchases without cash or cards.

Most smartphones today come with an NFC (near field communication) chip, which enables a type of wireless communication with a range of only a few centimeters. That means you can simply wave or tap your device in front of an NFC-enabled terminal at checkout to make your payment. NFC chips are encrypted to protect your payment information, so you’re less likely to be the victim of fraud. 

Restaurant Kiosks

Paying and ordering for food at the counter may soon be a thing of the past. Many restaurants are streamlining the customer experience by introducing self-serve kiosks. Just select the items you want to order on the screen, pay (with your digital wallet, perhaps) and pick up when ready. These kiosks work much like the touchscreen smartphone or tablet you already use, so they’re intuitive and straightforward.

Cashierless Stores

There’s a pioneering new form of mobile payment technology: the cashierless store. With the Amazon Go app, you just scan your Amazon account before walking into the store, grab what you want and walk out. Using machine learning and advanced sensor technology, the items you’ve selected are automatically charged to your account. That means no lines, no checkout, just an amazing, convenient shopping experience.

Ready to upgrade the way you pay? Read our list of digital wallet apps to download and get started.