Your Cellphone Might Soon Become Your Only 'Credit Card'

Debit Cards: A Thing of the Past?Do you hate lugging around your wallet when you're running to grab milk at the corner store? Well get this: Soon, you may not need to. The concept of the "mobile wallet" is taking over, and debit and credit cards may just be a thing of the past.

This is how it works, ideally: Inside your phone, there would be a "near-field communication" (NFC) chip. The chip is tied to an app that is tied to your bank account, and when you wave your phone in front of a special scanner in the store -- the funds are withdrawn directly from your account. Voila! You're done!

I'd like to think that I'm pretty technologically inclined, but even so, I don't know if I could get behind the idea of tossing out my credit and debit cards for good. Apparently, Apple isn't really into it just yet, either.

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How do we know this? Well, Apple's new iPhone 5 will NOT include an NFC chip. My guess is that there's a lack of demand from the consumer, and rightfully so. It just all feels so ... unnatural. I'm sure there are a whole lot of women who, like me, feel better having some sort of material method of payment.

Sure, there's always a possibility of losing a wallet, but for some reason, the idea of having all of that personal information on my cellphone makes me much more antsy. How many times do you allow your friend's kiddo to play games on your phone or ask your friend to look up directions? What if, during that time, some button is accidentally pressed, and BAM! there goes $1,000 somewhere off into cyberspace?! OK, worst case scenario I know -- but I'm sure you get what I'm saying.

Right now I use my cellphone to pay for my Starbucks, and I've got to say it's easy and convenient. However, I'm comfortable with that because it's connected to a gift card and NOT my bank account. In terms of the whole mobile wallet idea, until someone can ASSURE me that there are numerous safety precautions protecting me from fraud, I'm all set.

Would you feel comfortable using a completely mobile wallet?

 

Image via Neil T/Flickr

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