Besides being a device for communicating and accessing the Internet, smartphones enable us to conveniently manage certain tasks such as banking. As technology becomes more sophisticated and more Americans use smartphones – 77% of us as of November 2016, according to the Pew Research Center – we’ll continue to use these devices in innovative ways.
For years, financial executives and marketing experts have been forecasting an eventual move to a “cashless economy,” which is defined as “a society in which consumers pay using credit or debit cards, electronic funds transfer, or shop online instead of paying by cash or bank check.”
Some countries are slowly making the transition to becoming cashless. A December 2016 Business Today article stated that 61% of transactions in Singapore are already cashless, as well as 60% in the Netherlands, and 45% in the U.S. In fact, cardless ATMs have been available in Europe since 2011.
With digital wallet apps (electronic devices that enable people to make electronic financial transactions; personal bank accounts can be linked to the digital wallets) such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet, an increasing number of Americans are making payments online via their computers or iPads, and they’re using their smartphones to make purchases at stores.
As of May 2016, 46% of U.S. consumers reported having made a mobile payment; that’s approximately 114 million people, according to research-based nonprofit organization, The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Many believe cellphones will soon replace ATM cards. Today’s digital-savvy consumer expects banking, payments, and other services to evolve with technological advances. They’re seeking ease and convenience.