The Extinction of the Wallet
By Ethan Price
September 6th, 2021
Due to the global pandemic the world has faced over the last year and a half, much of the world has embraced contactless payment in place of plastic debit and credit cards. In 2020, in-store mobile payments grew by 29%, according to research firm eMarketer. eMarketer predicts that more than half of smartphone users will pay with their phones by 2025 (WSJ). One example of contactless debit payment would be Apple Pay, and according to Apple, “51% of global iPhone users have enabled Apple Pay”.
It’s not just credit cards that have recently gone digital, however. Most pharmacies, gyms, and public transit cards have also become digitally accessible. Some insurance companies have even begun to offer digital insurance cards to their clients.
With all of these cards disappearing from our wallets, a few lone soldiers remain. Physical driver’s licenses are still highly recommended whenever an individual leaves the house, but they may be a thing of the past in years to come. Apple is currently working on an IOS 15 feature which would allow for users to scan their IDs onto their phones to use at restaurants and bars. This way, only the user’s name and birthdate would be viewable by the establishment, creating a layer of security for its users.
Each day the wallet slowly becomes less relevant. As credit cards and IDs were moved to rubber card carriers on the back of each person’s smartphone, it seems as if now they are beginning to seep into the phones themselves.