Each of our daily lives are enhanced by technology in some shape or form. Now technology has hit our wallets. With smartphones getting smarter each and every day it’s about time our wallets caught up to the technology race. Google Wallet is an app you can install on your smartphone (iOS or Android), it allows you to add all of your credit, rewards, and loyalty cards into the app. If you have an Android device you are able to use the tap and pay feature to touch your phone to a supported vender who has a tap and pay feature (also seen as payWave which is built into many Visa credit and debit cards). The technology is known as NFC or Near Field Communications. This allows for data to be transferred when the two devices come in contact with each other. The range is very small and the card or phone has to be placed on the sensor at the register in order for the payment to be made. This makes it very convenient to keep everything all at your fingertips. You can basically use your smartphone as a wallet with Google Wallet. Let’s say you still like the idea of physical cards, well Google offers an option for a pre-paid card that will link to your bank account or any other account you link it up to. This works just like any other debit card you have in your wallet, it’s just tied to your Google Wallet Account.
However, there is another card option that is expected to hit the market, summer of 2014. It’s called Coin. Coin is an electronic device that syncs with an app on your smartphone. Very similar to Google Wallet, you can add all of your cards to the app. However the major difference is how you use them. Instead of using the NFC built into some smartphones, the card itself has a small display and a toggle button. You can toggle between debit cards, credit cards, etc. With the click of a button, you can change to whatever card you would like to use and then just swipe Coin just like any other card you may have. Works just like every debit/credit card you’ve ever had, only difference is now you only need to carry this one card around and not a stack of cards. The downside to Coin is that it has an internal battery that cannot be recharged, so once the battery runs out you need to buy a new Coin (the site claims the battery will last 2 years on average usage). One plus side is that Coin has built in Bluetooth and syncs to your phone. If you walk too far from your card (like leaving it at a restaurant) your phone will notify you that you left your card somewhere because it is no longer in range of your smartphone. After a set amount of time, you can have your Coin automatically wiped to protect your data and information.
So as technology continues to evolve and change, everything from our cars, to our phones, now our wallets are getting smart too.