The modern era has changed the way that consumers find and pay for products, and the technologies used to handle those transactions have changed as well. Even a few decades ago, the ease with which you can choose and receive something you’ve purchased would have boggled the mind — it only follows that cash, being a purely physical item, would fall by the wayside too.
The niche that ATMs and bank teller lines once filled is now occupied by digital wallets – these online services add ease-of-use and security to shopping online and lend plenty of other advantages.
The fall of paper money
It’s important to remember that cash hasn’t disappeared completely yet. Many businesses have yet to even make the transition towards modern amenities like debit cards. That said, surveys have shown that 40 percent of polled consumers carry less than $20 with them on any given day.
It’s not difficult to see why — the variety of options for payment, from debit cards to Paypal accounts to digital wallets, makes cash redundant unless it’s one of those aforementioned old-fashioned businesses.
This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise if you’ve been shopping within the last few years, but the deeper opportunities it lends for digital wallets are endless.
Payment, just a touch away
Convenience is just one place where digital wallets truly establish themselves as a valuable tool for the future. Digital wallets are already synchronized to deliver the payment with minimal input from the consumer, which allows simple transitions after you’ve finished your shopping. Oftentimes, as with ride-sharing services like Uber, the digital wallet will even finalize the payment without you having to do a thing.
Digital wallets also support businesses in their attempts to interface more closely with customers. Every digital wallet has unique identification markers that can be tracked by businesses that you shop with often, allowing them to offer unique and personalized rewards for brand loyalty. You can expect to see many more reward programs of this sort as businesses transition towards the digital era.
You’re probably wondering how, given the convenience and frequency of digital wallet transactions, the accounts themselves are being protected. This is not an unreasonable question — online fraud increased by 30 percent between 2016 and 2017, and these trends are expected to continue for as long as digital payments reign supreme. Luckily, experts are countering these security risks to protect consumers from online fraud.
One common method of protecting your digital wallet is the usage of a randomly-generated identification that works only temporarily and protects your underlying account information. This is done via proxy, and these systems are quite similar to the underlying technology in the chipped credit and debit cards which have become more and more common in the last decade. Another possible security measure will be a shift towards physical biometric analyses like fingerprint or body weight scans.
In many ways, the modern world has become louder, dirtier, more chaotic — but in others, it’s become more convenient and safer for the average consumer. Digital wallets are just one prime example of a developing technology that will help customers navigate their lives without the clutter and inefficiency of yesteryear, ensuring once and for all that the future is cashless.