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Will Mobile Wallets Replace Their Traditional Counterparts? 194

Posted by Soulskill
from the my-wallet-is-pretty-mobile-already dept.
Cara_Latham writes "Mobile wallets are all the rage. But legitimate questions remain as to whether they will ever truly replace their leathery counterparts. Mobile wallets, which use NFC-based technology to allow customers to make contactless payments at the point of sale, already have begun to make their presence felt. Mountain View, Calif.-based Google launched a digital wallet this past fall. The search giant has agreements with Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover to make the Google Wallet available to the card companies' account holders, and there even are some NFC-enabled terminals in use across the U.S. that can accept it, including at many mass transit stations. And mobile wallet ventures are cropping up around the globe, as well. Telecom companies including Vodafone and Telefonica announced this year wallet initiatives in Africa and Latin America. But mobile wallets still face many hurdles before they can gain widespread adoption, experts say, including the rather difficult task of getting consumers to change long-held habits."
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Will Mobile Wallets Replace Their Traditional Counterparts?

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  • by Kinky Bass Junk (880011) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:16PM (#39422409)
    My wallet is already mobile.
    • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by niftydude (1745144) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:21PM (#39422473)
      It also doesn't charge either yourself or the merchant a 1 - 5% transaction fee every time you use it.
      • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Gwala (309968) <adam@nOSPaM.gwala.net> on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:56PM (#39422735) Homepage

        Actually it does. Here's how:

        - Conversion from cash to bank account balances often carries a small 'change processing fee' with commercial banks. It's not big; but if you are depositing lots of tiny small change, many banks will charge you for the service. (esp. the other way around - getting cash out as coins, for giving change, etc.)
        - Loss/theft - it's a lot easier for cash to go missing than it is for electronic payments. (plus costs for security for cash stored on premises)
        - Going to the bank and depositing it regularly is going to cost anyway (salary for time spent, fuel, etc.)

        I'd say the above equally match or exceed the 1-2.5% most merchant banks will charge for CC processing services. NFC pricing is generally the same amount. The fees charged by merchant banks for CC facilities are actually completely reasonable - there's some other aspects which hurt a bit more (90 clearance windows, chargebacks/fraud, etc); but the fees are perfectly fine.

        • by Sarten-X (1102295)

          But the money from credit card processing goes to credit card companies, and that's wrong. Money lost on the street goes to the beggars and children, and that's right.

          So sayeth the hivemind.

        • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Informative)

          by hjf (703092) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @11:39PM (#39423003) Homepage

          "change processing fee" is just fucked up shit. I have a shop here in Argentina and I don't get charged anything to deposit cash.

          I work with cash only, because Momma Visa charges 3-6% for debit card and up to 15% for credit card. I sell comic books, these have a fixed 30% markup, so visa gets no money from me. I considered them, but i figured if i go that way it'll just mean that my current cash payers will turn to credit card, and in the end it will be a net loss.

          a few months ago some woman walks with her kid and he picks up about $10 in comic books. so i tell her, sorry, we only accept cash. and she starts lecturing me "oh, in civilized countries EVERY business accepts credit cards". so i tell her "look, lady, in civilized countries, Visa doesn't charge you a 40% annual interest". she was too stupid to understand anyway.

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            I work with cash only, because Momma Visa charges 3-6% for debit card and up to 15% for credit card. I sell comic books, these have a fixed 30% markup, so visa gets no money from me. I considered them, but i figured if i go that way it'll just mean that my current cash payers will turn to credit card, and in the end it will be a net loss.

            15%?! Now I know you're joking because even the risky dealers (porn sites) only pay 7.5% max. So either the comic stores in your area are really prone to fraud, or you misp

            • by Tim C (15259)

              they're around $5 after tax each here, and given some people buy 10-20 of them at a time, accepting credit cards is required

              What, your ATMs won't dispense $50-$100 at a time?

            • by fatquack (538774)

              15%?! Now I know you're joking because even the risky dealers (porn sites) only pay 7.5% max.

              You clearly don't work in the porn industry. A lot of pornsites would be very happy if they only had to pay 7.5%, if they could even get a merchant account and not have to go to a third party processor and pay 25%. Not to mention the ridiculous fees VISA charges you just to get a merchant account if you're a porn company.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by niftydude (1745144)

          Actually it does. Here's how:

          - Conversion from cash to bank account balances often carries a small 'change processing fee' with commercial banks. It's not big; but if you are depositing lots of tiny small change, many banks will charge you for the service. (esp. the other way around - getting cash out as coins, for giving change, etc.)

          My bank doesn't charge me deposit or withdrawal fees. If yours does, I suggest you change banks.

          - Going to the bank and depositing it regularly is going to cost anyway (salary for time spent, fuel, etc.)

          If you have one salaried staff person who works 40 hours a week, and even if they spend an hour going to the bank to make a deposit, then it will cost 2.5% of what you pay them. Since turnover has to be greater than the salary of one of your staff members, it costs far less than 2.5% of turnover to take your money to the bank.

          - Loss/theft - it's a lot easier for cash to go missing than it is for electronic payments. (plus costs for security for cash stored on premises)

          You really think that loss and theft of cash costs even 1% of everything a typical busin

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by houstonbofh (602064)
      And, I trust cash a hell of a lot more than either Google, or Verizon.
      • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:47PM (#39422669)

        And, I trust cash a hell of a lot more than either Google, or Verizon.

        An NFC wallet is not a replacement for cash. It is a replacement for credit/debit cards.

        • Yes, but why? What advantage is this supposed to have over a credit card? I really don't get it.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126)

            In an ideal world you wouldn't have to carry any cash or credit cards, or any wallet at all. Everything would be on your phone, including stuff like secure ID and drivers license. All purchases would then be itemized on the phone for your later perusal.

            Of course the real reason is that Google or your phone company can take over Visa's market and get on that gravy train. Google in particular is an expert at mining your purchase history data and could combine it with location info and other stuff on your phon

          • (1) You carry one cell phone instead of all your various credit cards.
            (2) You need to have the phone and know the password to authorize a purchase instead of just having the card, so purchases are more secure.
            (3) Purchases are registered immediately so you can straighten your balance sheet much more quickly.

        • by mark-t (151149)

          Really? Will my credit card company or bank pay for a new one when the one I have stops working?

          When the magnetic strip on my cards stops working, I just call up the company and they mail me a replacement that I receive in a couple of days.

          If my bank card is acting up, I go to my bank, and they can issue me a new one immediately. Again...at no additional charge.

          Somehow I suspect that the electronics in these mobile wallets is going to run somewhat higher than what could be considered disposable, an

        • Frankly, I trust Visa more than Google or Verizon also. Just not as much as cash.
    • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dyinobal (1427207) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:34PM (#39422575)
      Yep and it doesn't require a battery to work either.
    • Instead of a cool "wallet" thing, how about a credit card that I can pre-load with cash so I don't have to carry my other credit cards / debit card in case my physical wallet is stolen?
      And so I can feel safer making on-line purchases with non-major sites.
      Just so that the most that can ever be stolen is whatever I have pre-loaded.

      You know, like Europe has had for years?

      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        you have been able to get them at walmart (among many other places) for the better part of a decade

        • I've seen the Green Dot ones and their fee structure is fucking ridiculous if you want to use it as just a re-loadable card instead of having your pay check deposited to it. Which kind of defeats the idea of "re-loadable".

          The best I've found is Western Union's. And even that has a few hoops I have to go through to put cash on it.

          Again, Europe has had this tech for years. If I want to lend someone 50 Euro I can do that electronically.

      • by SScorpio (595836)

        You mean like a secured credit card that people with bad credit take out? As why are you worried about a stolen credit card unless you aren't in the US. In the US you are liable for a maximum of $50 and most/all credit card companies will waive that if your card is ever stolen.

        Google wallet also allows you to pre paid an electric credit card so you can also do what you want on your phone if you have an NFC equipped android phone.

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      I believe they mean "moh-BYE-el", not "MOH-bul". As in the European term for cell phone.

      Incidentally (as per usual with cell phones), Japan [wikipedia.org] has had this feature for years. They also can act like the Tokyo equivalent of Metrocards.

    • by antdude (79039)

      And fat like George Costanza [youtube.com]'s. ;)

  • Wait, What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by wkcole (644783) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:18PM (#39422433)

    Mobile wallets are all the rage

    I'm 47 and have never owned a non-mobile wallet. Not sure what the point would be.

    • I own a non-mobile wallet, it's called a safe.
      • by wkcole (644783)
        My safe is even safer. It's a physical relative to steganography known as "somewhere in all this clutter."
        • by 517714 (762276)
          That's not "steganography", that's "security through obscurity."
          • 1. It is a physical relative to steganography, which is itself a form of security through obscurity. It isn't gold bars hidden under the couch. I promise. Many of the things in my home that I might consider putting in a safe if I had one are in the class of things one would need to know about a priori to make any real start at finding them. Others are such that most people could stare right at them and not understand them to be worth stealing.

            2. Most forms of security that do not involve credible threats

    • I'm 47 and have never owned a non-mobile wallet. Not sure what the point would be.

      To further remove you from actual control over your finances. Akin to electronic voting removing you from your actual choice.

  • 28 dollars later

    Where can I find these people who are hip to the mobile wallet scene?

  • by dark grep (766587) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:21PM (#39422467)

    My pessimistic view is 'yes', the 'but' is; but not for me. For the same reason I buy printed books and like to have vinyl LP's and CD's on the shelf. The tactile and visual pleasure of those 'crisp green ones' (in Australia, that $100 bills are green) is something I would not like to give up. Nor would I like to do away with the symbolism of the US$1 bill, or the history of the British pound.

    • in Australia, that $100 bills are green

      ... and plastic, like the alternatives :)

      • in Australia, that $100 bills are green

        ... and plastic, like the alternatives :)

        But I thought a similarly named country gave up plastic money over two centuries ago. "It was around 1780, and it was in Vienna, no plastic money anymore ... something something monkey c*nt" -- Falco, "Rock Me Amadeus"

    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      Hmm do you get money out over the counter or something? I too like the $100s (I think 10s and 100s are the two most visually pleasing Australian notes), but haven't handled one in many years, since ATMs only give you $50s and $20s :(

    • ...vinyl LP's and CD's...

      Vinyl CDs? Where can I find those?

      • by dark grep (766587)

        You know, I thought that as I was typing it. Perhaps 'Vinyl LP's, and CD's' would have been less ambiguous.

  • I'll use it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wmbetts (1306001) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:24PM (#39422487)

    the day I'm forced to. This sounds like a really really bad idea.

    • Law Bans Cash for Second Hand Transactions

      Cold hard cash. It's good everywhere you go, right? You can use it to pay for anything. But that's not the case here in Louisiana now. It's a law that was passed during this year's busy legislative session. House bill 195 basically says those who buy and sell second hand goods cannot use cash to make those transactions.

      http://www.klfy.com/story/15717759/second-hand-dealer-law

      • by wmbetts (1306001)

        Thankfully I don't. I remember hearing about that and wondering how a garage sell would work.

  • by cstec (521534) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:24PM (#39422491)
    Maybe it's just me, but I've been using cash more and more over the last 15 years or so. Just to restore the basic privacy we all had before OnStar, Google Stalking and street cameras. NFC here is just Google doing what's good for Google, and, well, I just finished switching all my clients to duckduckgo.com, take the hint. Ripping out all the Google Maps stuff next.
    • My first thought too... I shudder at what Google would do with all your payment data.
    • by markdavis (642305)

      It isn't just you. I am more leery of data collection by Google and others than ever... especially since I do have (and enjoy) an Android phone.

      But just wait- cash will be destroyed "in the name of safety" or "to stop crime" or whatever save the children excuse is fashionable. Most people won't care about privacy or limiting government (or big business) interference in or spying on personal transactions (or other aspects of their lives).

      I expect cash might be outlawed in the USA in my lifetime.

      • by russotto (537200)

        I expect cash might be outlawed in the USA in my lifetime.

        Cash is convenient, but given an incentive, organized crime will develop a way of doing anonymous transactions. Probably not Tide [mises.org], though, that sounds like a story picked up from The Onion.

      • I expect cash might be outlawed in the USA in my lifetime.

        You can only outlaw what you can control; and if the US gov't stops making cash available, then they will lose control of the currency entirely as at the very least the black markets will just move to a different currency to continue business as usual, and if necessary they will create their own barter system or currency - again, outside the control of the US gov't - and given the utility of cash it will spill over to the rest of the economy no mat

    • I just finished switching all my clients to duckduckgo.com, take the hint

      This I don't get, you're leery of Google and you switch to a service that uses bing? I'm sorry, Google might be scary, but how can anyone prefer Microsoft over it?

  • by mapkinase (958129) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:24PM (#39422493) Homepage Journal

    One thing I learned working with genomes of pathogenic microorganisms is that unless you are virologist studying rabies, you should avoid rage at all cost.

  • by Shoten (260439) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:37PM (#39422601)

    My wallet has so many cards in it that it's thick. Add 1.5 mm up again and again, and it's not hard to get something with some thickness. Now, place that under only one side of your butt, and sit on it for a while. Also, I would add, be fit and have very little body fat for cushioning. In no time at all, you'll be uncomfortable.

    I've cut back as much as I can, but I travel for business (so that's two cards), have a joint account for household expenses (one card) a credit card for personal use (another card) and a debit card which I use the most (another card). Other things, like a driver's license and health insurance cards...those need to stay. But how I have longed for a solution to move some of those cards out and have them in some other format, so that instead of these rectangles of plastic to represent what is essentially a very short piece of data, I could have it piggyback on a device I already own.

    And that's an NFC-endabled smartphone. I get it. I want one.

    • My wallet has so many cards in it that it's thick. Add 1.5 mm up again and again, and it's not hard to get something with some thickness. Now, place that under only one side of your butt, and sit on it for a while. Also, I would add, be fit and have very little body fat for cushioning. In no time at all, you'll be uncomfortable.

      I've cut back as much as I can, but I travel for business (so that's two cards), have a joint account for household expenses (one card) a credit card for personal use (another card) and a debit card which I use the most (another card). Other things, like a driver's license and health insurance cards...those need to stay. But how I have longed for a solution to move some of those cards out and have them in some other format, so that instead of these rectangles of plastic to represent what is essentially a very short piece of data, I could have it piggyback on a device I already own.

      And that's an NFC-endabled smartphone. I get it. I want one.

      Why don't you just stop putting your phone in your back pocket.

      Personally, I switched to a card case and a money clip. No discomfort, classier looking and best of all, people can't call me on a money clip.

      • by Shoten (260439)

        You mean why don't I put my wallet in a front pocket? Because one, it's too thick, and two, my phone is in one front pocket, and my keys/penknife/2-factor auth token are in the other. No room.

    • by Nethead (1563)

      That's why I take my wallet out of my ass pocket when I sit. And I have a fat ass.

    • by vux984 (928602)

      Oh, and that's great... until your sitting there in the restaurant and your battery dies, and suddenly you can't pay for your meal.

      No worry you've got a car charger in the car... oh... but you need the nfc phone to get back into the parkade you used... and you realize that even if you got to the car you'd need the phone on to unlock it since you got one of those new digital keys embedded in your smartphone...

      So you'll need to call onstar to remote open your car door... except your phone is dead.

      Small rectan

      • by Shoten (260439)

        In my line of work, I never let my phone die on me suddenly. I've carried a smartphone for (does math...) about 8 years, I think? And I've never been caught like that with it suddenly dead with no hope of bringing it back up in the next 5 minutes. I think that's enough of a statistical model.

        But assuming my phone is dead...what makes you think I won't carry just one card in my wallet, just in case?

    • It's not a huge deal in the US, but keeping your wallet in your backpocket is a nice target for pick-pockets. You might consider moving it to the side pocket. That's what I do, anyway.
    • by plover (150551) * on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @11:33PM (#39422959) Homepage Journal

      If you continue carrying your wallet in your hip pocket, you risk damaging the sciatic nerve bundle that serves your leg. That creates a condition called sciatica. It's characterized by long term hip and leg pain and/or numbness that really isn't any fun at all. I strongly recommend you move your wallet to your front pocket today, and never again carry it in your hip pocket. Your ass and leg pain won't abate immediately, but over time it might get better. For me, it took a few months after moving the wallet before the pain was mostly gone, but years later I still have occasional pain from it. Certain kinds of chair seats seem to aggravate it.

      The wallet in the front pocket isn't so bad once you get used to the new location. As a bonus, it's slightly more secure from pickpockets.

      DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor, nor do I play one on Slashdot. If you want real medical advice, go see a real medical doctor.

  • Given that EFTPOS and debit cards have, for all their convenience, not yet completely displaced cash, I'd say it'll be a long time off, if it ever happens, and will have to have additional features than what it does now (like be able to store a driver's licence accepted as valid by your government, for instance).

  • by pla (258480) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:47PM (#39422673) Journal
    As soon as they make it easy to use them for totally anonymous purchases - Which includes the funding side of the wallet as well as the use.

    Right now, however, we already have something almost as good - The Visa Gift card. You can buy them with cash, you can use them almost anywhere, you can't ever go over your "limit", and since they have no name associated with them, it makes no sense to ask for ID at the point of sale (though make no mistake, I've had salesdrones ask for it - Who then completely failed to explain what, exactly, they planned to compare my ID against, in the absence of a signature, name, picture, address, or anything else meaningful).

    They have only one major flaw, entirely artificially imposed by the US's bizarre hatred of gambling - You can't easily recharge them. You have to pay the "convenience" fee to pick up a new one, with a fixed predetermined limit. Instead of, for example, "buying" your groceries plus a $1000 recharge for $1000 plus the cost of your groceries (paid in cash from my monthly visit to the ATM, of course).

    Fix that, and I'd basically give up cash altogether. Make these some sort of "help Uncle Sam track even your cash purchases" deal, and thankyouverymuchbutno.
    • by markdavis (642305) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @11:01PM (#39422781)

      The problem is as soon as you (and those remaining) "give up cash altogether" to use your wonderful non-tracking plastic cards, the government WILL just drop cash.

      And then how are you supposed to buy or recharge that "anonymous" plastic gift card? A personal check? A real credit card? An ATM transfer.

      Make no mistake- time and time again, the governments have and will "change the terms" of things that were supposed to be limited and/or private. Social Security numbers are a perfect example. Red light cameras turning into speeding and other use cameras are another.

    • You can't buy an open-loop gift card with a value greater than $500 without an ID. That's suppossedly an anti-terrorism law, as if a criminal would never have a fake ID.

  • by wanzeo (1800058) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:51PM (#39422691)

    If I was a credit card company, the last thing I would do is cooperate with NFC. It holds the promise of money moving from bank accounts to retailers smoothly without the banks having to mess with a CC affiliation. Banks could even let you buy things on credit if they wanted.

    This has tremendous potential to diversify the electronic purchasing world. Any small bank that can get certified can offer service worldwide. The achilles heel is the NFC protocol that brokers the transaction between the retailer and the bank. Is it too much to ask to have an open standard, instead of a mandatory Google/Verizon/Apple account? The last thing I want is to trade one unnecessary middleman for another.

  • by PPH (736903) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @10:56PM (#39422739)

    ... a condom in that newfangled wallet?

    • by wisty (1335733)

      ... a condom in that newfangled wallet?

      I think Zynga's working on it.

  • Count me in (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @11:01PM (#39422783)

    I always dreamed of paying expensive fees on every cash transfer I do. Giving a big company the freedom to stop me from using my wallet whenever it's convenient to them and with great benefit of making recording my purchase history easier than ever before makes this truly perfect. Consumers everywhere rejoice for this opportunity to show our devotion to corporate control!

  • I get strange looks at the checkout these days when the staff see my credit card with a hole Drilled right through the RFID chip.

    When I got my new card it came with this "Pay Wave" feature which they claim is more secure and also convenient (wireless).

    EXCEPT that for any EFTPos purchase less than $100 you dont need to enter a PIN.

    Basic Security is that you should have a Physical Thing and a secret.

    This removes the secret! Hence anyone in possesion of my card can repeatedly buy $100 worth of stuff with my

    • by AbRASiON (589899) *

      You in Australia? Our big supermarket chains have started that. I think it's anything under 35$ does not require a signature or a pin at all.. wtf?

  • by wkcole (644783) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @11:07PM (#39422817)

    But legitimate questions remain as to whether they will ever truly replace their leathery counterparts.

    Legitimate questions would be much less like "Is water wet?" or "Does the Mayan calendar not actually predict the obliteration of the Earth in 2012?" or "Will Apple and Google and a few million /.ers running Kubuntu drive Microsoft into irrelevance and bankruptcy by 2015?"

    The physical wallet is not going away. As long as there are legal purchases for which many people would prefer to have plausible deniability, there will be cash. Until the final merger that yields AppFedGoocrosoft, L. L. C., Our Beloved Planetary Government, (with 51% of voting shares held by Goldman-CitiSachs of America, and the financial equity held mostly by the Bain/Koch Group and the LDS Church Inc.) those of us not standing in line to be rendered into spare parts and raw biodiesel input will need some way to hold a half-dozen competing trackable-money tokens, a dozen merchant "savings club" cards, blank bits of thermal paper that used to be receipts we thought we should keep, and enough paper money for a Big Mac, a USA Today, a pack of smokes, and an hour of high-res porn on the medium du jour.

    • by Randym (25779) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @01:55AM (#39423767)
      As long as there are legal purchases for which many people would prefer to have plausible deniability, there will be cash.

      Law Bans Cash for Second Hand Transactions

      Cold hard cash. It's good everywhere you go, right? You can use it to pay for anything. But that's not the case here in Louisiana now. It's a law that was passed during this year's busy legislative session. House bill 195 basically says those who buy and sell second hand goods cannot use cash to make those transactions.

      http://www.klfy.com/story/15717759/second-hand-dealer-law

      • Every US-issued bill in my leather wallet contains this statement: "THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE", over the signature of the Secretary of the Treasury. It doesn't mention any exclusions for second hand sales.
  • Kinda the point of a wallet. It has several virtues that these new "mobile" wallets don't.

    1. The things I have in the wallet are separable.
    2. I can put non-digital information in it.
    3. I can store untraceable currency in it.
    4. It doesn't use batteries.
    5. It is completely non-volatile.
    6. It is completely secured from hacking.
    7. I don't have to trust any third party with the contents of my wallet, ever.
    8. The importance of 6 and 7 cannot be overstated.

  • Tybejee suggests several ways to entice consumers to embrace m-wallets, including making targeted offers as part of the mobile wallet experience based on a consumer's prior purchasing history; tying in mobile wallets with loyalty cards and programs...

    Right. The Google Wallet is an end run around banking privacy and security laws.

    If the mobile wallet systems were coming from real banks, they might be trusted more. Not from "indemnify us against our mistakes and don't sue us" Google. "You agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless GPC, Google, and their subsidiaries and other affiliates, and its and their directors, officers, owners, agents, co-branders or other partners, employees, information providers, licensors, licensees, consultants, contractor

  • no way (Score:5, Funny)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Wednesday March 21, 2012 @12:25AM (#39423301) Homepage Journal

    My mobile phone can't replace my wallet because then where would I carry this Trojan I've had since I was a sophomore in 1976?

    It's been with me since the bi-centennial, handed down to me by my cousin Frank who got it from his dad's drawer. And if I should ever get lucky, I want to be prepared.

    Hey, it could happen...

  • The current technology is more than enough to create a market without paper and coin money. Replacing cash with an electronic card would benefit to the environment and, above all, eliminate tax evasion.

    As for the privacy concerns, an electronic payment system should only track the amount of money being transfered, not any details on the goods purchased. But I seriously doubt companies will bypass this huge chance for realtime surveying of customers' habits.

  • We should ask the people in Japan and South Korea the experience of using such systems, where NFC mobile payment systems are very widely used. Especially in Japan, where the mobile version "FeliCa" system (jointly developed by NTT DoCoMo and Sony) is universally used for such payments.

    I believe that the US-based ISIS system is based a lot on what was learned from Mobile FeliCa.

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