Credit Cards or Smartphone Paying: Safer than Swiping?

Today’s burning question is whether you want to go with using your smartphone or stick with your old credit card. The debate is still raging from New York to LA. However, it is the wave of the future and it is best to find out more about what it is and whether or not you want to try to use it yourself.

America is already behind with the rest of the world that has embraced and switched to E-payment in a big way. China has gone almost entirely cashless as their new generation of Millennials shop almost exclusively using their cell phones.

Here in the States, however, we are still reluctant to let our money be controlled by a tiny NFC chip within our smartphones. The big promoter of this, of course, is Apple as they have included the special chip technology inside their latest generation of smartphone. Their only serious contender was Samsung and they have run into a brick on the road as their batteries have a tendency to explode in the new generation of smartphone they have just released. So, Apple has the infrastructure and clear sailing to take a large chunk of the market share while Samsung retools and retrenches.

But, what exactly will these chips do for us? The simplified answer is that just like your credit card you can walk up to any vendor, store, and even restaurants. You flash your cell phone, the transaction is completed all painlessly, and you don’t even have to take your wallet out of your purse, hip pocket, and backpack.

The greatest fear, of course, is the hacker. WikiLeaks has been bombarding us over the latest malfeasance of Hillary and the rest of the world. However, you have to remember these servers are running on Microsoft operating system, which is notorious for leaving loopholes and gaps in their coding.

Apple, on the other hand, is based on their iOS operating system, which is proprietary and one of the hardest to crack in the business.

Therefore, aside from the hardware aspect, Apple has invested a great deal of money in the infrastructure and the protection of their user database.

However, the one thing that I like the most, that has sold me on the idea, is the secondary authentication. For example, your credit card now requires a signature and away you go after making your purchase. The problem is people have gotten sloppy and with the “Swipe and Go” technology anybody can walk up with a card swipe and enter a pin number, walk away, and no one even checks to see if the card belongs to the person who’s using it.

Though the same is true of a smartphone people are quicker to react for some reason if they cannot put their hand on their cell phone. While sometimes, it takes days or even weeks for people to notice that they’ve misplaced a card.

Also getting into a smartphone is getting harder and harder than it is to peek over the shoulder of someone while someone is entering their pin number.

But, the bottom line that is driving the shift from credit card to a smartphone is simplicity and simple economics. Getting people instant gratification and streamlining credit card billing and payments along with saving all that wasted plastic going back and forth in the mail makes life so much easier.

So the handwriting is on the wall and the credit card will soon only be seen in museums and talked about as the woe of the middle class during the 90s, 2000s. Kids today, are not even sure what a credit card is anymore. After spending 20 years in the banking industry, it’s high time we put the credit card out to pasture.

Dora L signing off, until the next time, where I will offer you up another tidbit about managing your money and ways to keep more of it.