The Credit Card is The Best Mobile Payment System Ever
Recently, there’s been a surge in interest by makers of smartphones and gadgets to offer the ultimate unification of the things in your pocket by allowing you to use your phone to purchase things in stores. Google launched their Wallet program in 2011, allowing Android users to make payments with enabled phones, and Apple has been causing a stir with their plans for the new Apple Pay. Retailers are even trying to get in the game with their CurrentC system.
Their motivation is quite clear. Getting money and payments to flow through your company’s hands is a coveted middle-man position. Apple plans to take 0.15% of all transactions. Google doesn’t make money, but gets to see everything you buy and use it to, of course, target ads at you.
However, despite the clear desirability of being a service provider, phone payment systems simply do not solve any user pain points. That’s cause they already have credit cards, which have a host of spectacular features. Check it out -
- Credit cards never run out of batteries. This is the most obvious problem. Imagine the inconvenience of being unable to purchase anything when your phone dies.
- Credit cards can be separated from your phone. There are plenty of situations in which you want to be able to give your credit card to someone. Imagine opening a tab at a bar with your phone - certainly less convenient than having a plastic token. Or if your phone is stolen from your purse or pocket - it sure is nice your credit card wasn’t attached.
- Credit cards are cheap. The cost of the card itself is tiny, so obviating the need for a card saves the user no money at all.
- Credit cards are light and small. Nobody complains about carrying around a 6g card that is the exact same size and shape as the photo ID they carry around anyway.
It doesn’t matter how smooth they make the interface, the most user-friendly way of integrating credit cards with phones is to offer a cellphone case with credit card slots built in.