Will the Smartphone Entirely Replace the Wallet?

empty-wallet

Over the years the smartphone has been quietly and consistently stealing contents from our wallets, as discussed in the New York Times article, “How My Smartphone Emptied my Pockets.” As we are all aware of and at this point probably users of, some the contents shift includes the following: “Wallet Sized” pictures have been replaced by the camera roll; Business Cards are now digital rap sheets that can be shared with a click or a bump; cash has been replaced by debit cards which is becoming replaced by payment specific apps (e.g. Starbucks app, or Square where you can speak your transaction at the register); ID cards such as gym memberships, discount cards, insurance cards etc. are often accepted as a digital images or via a company specific app removing the need for the actual card; tickets are quickly being replaced by Passbook or airline specific apps; and Bitcoin the first truly online currency with its own monitoring and regulation system… and the list goes on.

Why I am curious?

As we work with our clients to evolve their Brands we should always be thinking about the opportunities to enhance their products and services. Innovations in payment and access to unique experiences can often serve as category game changers and propel challenger brands into leadership positions while strengthening the relationships between customers and brands. Also, these mechanisms serve as great opportunities to learn more about customers allowing brands to deliver the most relevant experiences, offers and even customized products. Are we sitting on opportunities with our existing clients that could radically change their business?

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