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What is the future for the physical wallet?

This blog was created while Mark was working at The Logic Group.

I am looking for a new wallet. It must be leather, bi-fold, and have a space for notes...I abandoned carting around loose change a while ago! I have been wondering if in five years, or may be ten years the wallet as we know it will still exist! I only use my wallet to carry payment card, one or two loyalty cards, and a note or two just incase I have the misfortune to find somewhere that does not accept cards.


I am a big advocate of contactless payments. It makes life simple, and has meant that I no longer have to weigh my pockets down with coins. Working in the card payments industry, I of course always try to use a card over cash, and this has changed my requirements for my new wallet without a coin pocket.


The in store experience is changing fast. The typical till point is being replaced by a mobile point of sale, enabling staff to approach you to assist as well as convert a browser into a buyer than for you to decide and wait in line to pay. This is achieved by new technology in tablets PCs and wireless pin pad - an area that seems to be popular at the moment - and only a small extension to the existing payment infrastructure.


As I write this I am sitting in the car park of one of the UKs largest Telco’s. I am here to discuss the future of mobile payments both in store through wireless points of sales and wireless pin pads, as well as new and exciting ways to reach a mobile customer base. There are still many uncertainties in the space, but one thing is for sure, the customer experience should be the driver in the multichannel experience. We can no longer look at multichannel in a silo'ed fashion, but ensure that customers gets a service that will bring them back again and again - regardless if they are using their phone computer or are in store.


Mobile phones are now coming to market with contactless NFC technology. This means that in a couple of years I might be able to store card information in the phone and leave the wallet at home. So, the card has removed (nearly) the need for notes, contactless has removed the need for the change, and the phone will remove the need for cards! Were does that leave the need for my leather wallet?



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