Vodafone Chief Forecasts Downfall of Physical Wallet

by Joseph Walent 0

It was about five years ago I remember hearing that “Because of mobile phones, no one will wear wrist watches in five years.” Needless to say, in the intervening time we’ve seen the launch and limited uptake of the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear, which are IT-enabled devices inserting themselves into the wristwatch form factor.

In a blog, Ritzmann said retailers are investing more and more in contactless payment terminals suitable for handling smartphone payments.

The availability of services such as that announced by Vodafone and PayPal at Mobile World Congress will spur investment in upgraded, NFC-enabled terminals, he suggested.

That said, the expanding adoption and use of mobility payments by consumers is helping to limit the girth of many traditional wallets with electronic representations of payment cards finding their way into our mobile devices and out of our leather wallets.

Mercator Advisory Group agrees that once the acceptance of mobile payments gains critical mass, there will likely be fewer traditional wallets sold, as they will not be carried as often nor see such hardship as they do today, but until all the reasons folks carry wallets now beyond holding payment cards (cash, identification, licenses, club memberships, hotel key cards, nifty tools ) find their way into our mobile devices we’ll continue to see leather wallets in a majority of pockets and bags.

Overview by Joseph Walent, Senior Analyst, Emerging Technologies Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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