Leaving Your Wallet At Home
koppie — Sat, 11/05/2011 - 00:16
There's been more and more talk recently about using your cell phone to pay for things. I'm all for it.
"But, what if I lose my cell phone?" Well, what if you lose your wallet? If you take something valuable out of the house, there's always a chance that something can go wrong. But that's always true. Besides, if you're smart, you've already protected your phone so you can get it back or deactivate it if it gets stolen.
This follows the trend of having a single, pocket-size device that does everything. It used to be that phones were for making phone calls. Then text messaging and a camera (now you can ditch your pager and pocket camera). Early smart phones gave you calendar, address book, and to do list (now you can ditch your PDA). Later came email and web surfing . . . barely. More recent smartphones are full desktop replacements, and in some cases, they are the desktop. (Yes, that's your cell phone. As a desktop computer.) A lot of people use cell phones as time pieces, so you don't even need a watch.
Adding credit cards is the next logical step. Starbucks already has an app that lets you use your pre-loaded Starbucks card to buy coffee . . . using your phone in place of the actual card. Google's latest phone has a built-in chip so you can "swipe" at the checkout counter.
Enter Square Cardcase, which automatically opens a tab for you at your favorite spots. Walk up to the counter, order, and say "Put it on Jordan." The barrista hands you your coffee and you're on your way. Pretty awesome, just one problem: no one takes it yet. A look at San Francisco shows nothing but Radio Shack, Best Buy, and the Apple Store. Not a single bar, restaurant, or cafe.
Bottom line: I'm not gonna get my coffee this way, as much as I would like to.