It’s an unwritten rule that technology becomes outdated every few months, with something new and exciting – and often a lot better – coming out that makes all models that came before it look like a rock with a number pad carved into it.
And after a year of great improvements in the way we pay for services and goods, it seems that there’s at least one more trick in the bag to move us away from our cash. Which is looking more likely than every with the introduction of 4G Network, Everything Everywhere (EE) in the UK.
This week could see yet another new technology making a step towards a cashless system in the very near future in the form of the iZettle. This small device allows small traders to take credit and debit card payments, and is arriving in the UK after a promising roll-out in markets across the globe.
The small device plugs into a range of smartphones and tablets, and allows the consumer to pay for their products or services through their card rather than in cash, being incredibly handy when looking to pay the plumber, mechanic or window-cleaner.
12 Months of Smart(phone) Payments
Other companies have tried to start a new system in the past which replaces the need for cash – from Barclaycard to Google – but none have really taken off in the UK, despite having relative success in other parts of the world.
Back in June of this year, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and NatWest announced that they were going to make it easier to make withdrawals using their smartphones through their respective mobile banking apps. This system allowed the user to enter a six-digit code that is sent down to their phone and take out as much as £100 at any one time.
March saw the introduction of Barclays’ Pingit, an application that allows users to transfer money – up to £300 – from their account to another person with the application installed on their smart phone.
Among the other services that have come into being in the last 12 months, the stand out is the Google Wallet, a system created by the search engine – and nowadays pretty much every other area of technology – giant to replace the leather wallet with one that is stored in the cloud instead.
Poor Reception in the UK
Despite taking off in countries across the world – America, Africa and Australia to name but a few – here in the UK none of the available systems have really managed to take off.
One of the major reasons why is security. In the UK we’re very security conscious and the idea of giving our most personal details to a little box in our hand just doesn’t seem appealing.
With so many applications on our phones, how do we know that someone isn’t watching what we’re typing and stealing those details? Well, the short answer is, we don’t.
And so the whole idea of a cashless system, as appealing as it is to the tech-savvy members of society, will remain something that isn’t taken on by the public at large for now.