As if replacing the traditional phone book, address book, weekly planner, calculator and point-and-shoot camera isn’t enough, the Smartphone is about to replace yet one more physical item — your wallet.
Although the technology for digital wallets has been in development for quite awhile, the number of merchants supporting it had been marginal, at best. But the revolution of change that has already begun, thanks to the proactivity of some major brands. Case in point: Coca Cola is currently running Unlock Happiness, a scavenger hunt promotion that asks you download *Level Up*, an app that turns your Smartphone into a credit card using a QR code reader.
Google is also getting in on the action with its *Google Wallet*, using celebrities like Jason Alexander to help endorse it. The perks of this “tap and pay” technology are quite attractive. For one, it allows you to use the account numbers from any of your current credit cards and loyalty cards, and likewise, most merchants have special offers for those who are willing to try it out. You can also say good-bye to the annoyance of paper receipts, as it stores them for you digitally. And it’s actually safer than a traditional wallet because it’s password-protected.
Although I’m not lucky enough to reside in one of the premiere US cities with a merchant pool large to support this new technology, I’m patiently waiting for the day when I can leave my big, obnoxious wallet at home—the one that’s stuffed with so many credit cards and receipts that I can barely close it!