Will Digital Wallets Change the Way You Pay?


Digital wallets and other similar payment systems have enjoyed a lot of hype, but it remains to be seen if they’ll substantially change the way you pay for your groceries and gas. Although systems like Apple Pay and Google Wallet have seen a respectable level of adoption among both the public and businesses, there’s still plenty of ground to cover before your phone or tablet and connected accounts totally replace cards and cash.

It’s Not Universal Yet

One major problem facing the various virtual wallets and digital payment systems out there is the standardization of technology. While cash has always been accepted everywhere and credit cards use the same processing system no matter which bank or company issues it, mobile wallets don’t have a standardized, one-size-fits-all pay terminal. Newer pay terminals – especially those at large regional or national companies – often incorporate technology that makes mobile payments successful, but that doesn’t mean every single commercial business in the U.S. has them. Total adoption will take some years to complete. Additionally, both Apple and Google limited the use of touch-to-pay features to newer phones, creating another roadblock of sorts. For these reasons, it’s impossible to completely replace your existing cards and cash with your mobile device.

Tech news site Engadget had editor Nicole Lee use Apple Pay and Google Wallet for a week toward the end of 2014 and documented the results. Lee noted that, in a major metropolitan area like San Francisco, she used Google Wallet and Apple Pay at the majority of stores she visited in an average week. However, she also said that just 2.4 percent of terminals could process these digital payments at the end of 2014. Although more terminals with the required technology are expected to come into use as the U.S. implements the new EMV standard for credit cards in late 2015, digital payments aren’t yet a “100-percent sure” thing.

Issues of Privacy

These programs, and others such as newcomer Current C, offer some advantages, but there are concerns about privacy and security as well. Current C may become a third player in the digital payments market, but it already had a significant security breach during a test run in 2014, according to The International Business Times. Adoption of that service could also suffer because it’s not tied to a specific type of device, as are Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

Managing your personal information is crucial for both electronic payment systems and for your life in general. Whitepages offers the ability to decide what personal information you share on the Internet, letting you make that decision for yourself. As technology continues to enter new and different areas of everyday life, keeping track of all aspects of your digital identity may become more difficult. Thankfully, we  make it easy to control your locational and contact information – making this very important aspect of your digital self much more manageable.

by Whitepages

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