There are a few things you always make sure you have when you leave the house: keys, wallet, phone. What if you could skip the wallet?
Imagine going to the grocery store, getting all the stuff you need, and then, when you’re at the cash register and it’s time to pay, you don’t need to bother digging up your debit card. Instead you reach your phone, waggle it around a bit, and you’re on your way.
And hey – why stop there? If your financial information can be on there, why not your driver’s license too? Why not your ID card at work? Your library card?
Sounds futuristic but it may be fast approaching. Wireless carriers AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are reportedly about to start testing a technology known as Near Field Communications or Contactless Payment in a few different cities. Everything you would need from your wallet would be on your phone.
We talk to Marc Rysman, Associate Professor of Economics at Boston University, about how the technology works. We also speak to Rachel Schneider, Innovation Director at the Center for Financial Services Innovation, about how the technology could be made even simpler, maybe just a sticker on the outside of a phone or anywhere you cared to put it.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.