Today’s Digital Tech & Industry section is all about the cornerstone of our civilization: cash!
That’s right. For as long as there’s been human society there has been some form of currency. For most of human history it’s been more or less little bits of embossed metal called coins. However, in the 21st Century (thank goodness) we have Digital Mobile Payments, Cryptocurrencies, and Social Media Payments to enable all of our commercial indulgences!
Hard to believe that there would be more than one way to pay but there it is.
When we look back at 20th Century digital payments, the only examples that come to mind are wire transfers and direct deposit. However, now those seem so quiant compared to what we have going on today.
A lot of hullabaloo is made over cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and others (e.g. NEO, EOS, and Monero); however, in a practical sense, trying to pay for say a pair of jeans or a latte with them still seems a bit too farfetched.
But for millennials and Gen‐X/Yers, it’s as simple as taking out their smartphone (or raising their smartwatch) and tapping the POS (Point of Sale) terminal using their eWallets (i.e. Apple/Google/Samsung Pay).
Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay are all pretty much the same with only a few device‐specific differences. They all use the NFC (or Near‐Field Communication) chips inside them to enable “contactless” transactions that are funded by a person’s digital wallet (or eWallet) usually linked to a bank/credit account. Samsung Pay actually has another level of mobile payment called MST (Magnetic Secure Transaction) that enables users to use their phones just like swiping a credit card—good for older POS terminals that do not have an NFC chip reader.
And this is all well and good for millions of transactions a day; however, the next stage in this digital financial evolution is Social Media Payments.
Starting with PayPal, social media payments have quickly evolved from Venmo to Apple Cash. All the major mobile device payment players offer some form of this new type of transaction. What is amazing about it is that you can simply send money to any individual that you care to, phone‐to‐phone or watch‐to‐watch!
No big complicated financial institution coordinated long‐delayed messiness involved! The days of Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and Amex are numbered even if they don’t think so.
Which leads me to another point: why does it take so very long to get a simple check cleared at a bank, or transfer money from one bank to another (with a fee!), when I can send digital cash to a friend instantaneously for free?! Hmm?
Digital Batman uses these type of social media payments all the type—especially when the little digital batkids are doing things like town sports!
With over 95% of millennials using smartphones, and over 90% of them making digital payments today in one form or another, the bottom line is that actual real physical cash is going away; maybe not today or in a few years but eventually we will all be paying for stuff digitally—making Digital Batman’s job even more important!