With a smart phone or tablet in the hands of nearly everyone you see, and the thousands of apps that are appearing every day, it seems like only a matter of time before interacting with real people becomes obsolete. Between texting, email and the plethora of apps that we use each day, our smart phones and tablets seem to be taking over.
Although this might be a problem when it comes to interpersonal communication, it really has become quite a benefit when it comes to staying organized, managing money and generally keeping track of one’s life. One thing that seems to be emerging as a strong positive for the digital world is the option of making digital payments to credit cards, banks, or online merchants. Whether at a physical store or while shopping online, paying for purchases without ever laying hands on bills or coins is becoming the norm.
New Habits are Forming
As people become more and more attached to their mobile devices, they are relying heavily on using them to access everything. From checking email and social media, to using scannable coupons and QR codes, to taking pictures of desired items in a physical retail location and then shopping online when they get home, smart phones and tablets are becoming something most people cannot imagine living without.
Online Payment Options Increase Convenience
Everybody is looking for convenience these days. If something can be made simpler, then it is very attractive. Making payments using your mobile phone or tablet, through an app, is something many people are interested in. With a couple clicks, you can easily transfer money or make payments to nearly anyone you do business with. Just about every bank has mobile apps now, as well as nearly every credit card company.
Major banks, such as Bank of America, Citibank and even many local banks are offering mobile banking apps for customers to track their accounts and make payments and transfers, right fro their mobile devices. Credit card companies, like Capital One, Discover and American Express offer mobile apps for the same types of transactions. For those who like to stay on top of their finances, mobile banking is truly a gift and a major convenience.
When you can make a payment to anyone, from anywhere, at any time, it becomes something that will definitely take hold. It is highly unlikely that the trend toward mobile banking and mobile payments will slow anytime soon.
Younger Generation Even More Likely to Use Mobile
Although digital technology technically knows no age limits, older adults (even those embracing technology) are more likely to continue to write the occasional check or use the customary electronic banking options offered through the internet, but the younger generations are becoming more and more connected to mobile devices, with some using only these devices to access the internet without even ever opening a laptop or firing up the desktop PC. Sales of paper checks are way down, because most people write only a few per month and rarely re-order them because they last so long.
Mobile Apps at Retail Locations
Many retail locations are taking advantage of this trend, like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Home Depot, Walgreens and Best Buy allowing customers to take advantage of the ability to pay with a mobile phone online or even at a register, check for stock and make appointments for service. Even most of the main department and chain stores are getting on the bandwagon with mobile payments and apps, allowing customers the opportunity to shop, check stock, order and even make payments on their accounts or make payments for purchases, right from their mobile device.
The Way of the Future?
There is no reason to think that mobile apps are not going to continue to rise, with payment options and the other features offered, particularly as it relates to the younger demographic segments of the population. Anything that can make a transaction easier is going to be highly attractive, for both shoppers and merchants. As our world becomes more and more digital, mobile payments are only one way that people are going to be using their smart phones and tablets to take care of their business.
At this point, growth in this area is still new and the future is still a bit mysterious. Just think, who would have dreamed up the idea of smart phones only twenty years ago? Most people would have never believed the technology that would be available today. So, the answer to the question of whether or not mobile payments are the way of the future is a solid “Yes!” with the additional comments that it is only the beginning of the mobile generation and there are plenty more exciting things to come.