I read the article posted today where ISIS is coming out with a mobile payment service in October, and I thought to myself, how scary! All of my money would be stored and accessible on that phone somehow. I’m not sure how, but it’s there. Now, most of this is probably me being old fashioned, but there’s something about data transfers involving money through phones, which we all carry around and consequently lose every day, that’s unsettling to me.
I remember some time back hearing older folks say they would never switch to a debit or credit card, that there’s nothing wrong with some cold hard cash or writing out a check to the intended payee. Their argument was that cards had the information readily accessible to unwanted users, and they didn’t need some hooligan stealing a small plastic square that held all of their savings. I always thought they were being a little silly (although they made a point) because I carried one around and I was okay. But there was a time or two where my debit card has shown up missing and I’ve worried my little eyes out about it, so in a way they were right, but I could always just call up my bank and cancel my debit card.
In a sense I suppose it’s the same as carrying your wallet around and leaving somewhere, which I’ve also done once or twice in my life. I’ve always had it returned to me, luckily. However, I’ve set my phone down and walked off without it countless times, and those haven’t always been returned to me. The fact is, for me at least, that my phone is going to be coming out of my pocket or purse a lot more often than my wallet will, and that’s what worries me most about having such valuable information stored on it.
I also hate the idea of everyday people being able to go out and purchase credit card readers for their phones. I’m sure some of them are only using it because many people no longer carry cash, but if I’m purchasing something from a vendor that has one of those credit card readers, you better believe I will find a way to get some cash before sliding my credit card through one of those things. That means my information is stored in somebody else’s phone. Scary.
I had the same weird feeling about mobile payment options when Google Wallet was introduced. People were very much on the fence about Google Wallet for the same reason, but Google seems to do a fair job of winning people over. At the same time they released the program they also gave out free money to anyone brave enough to try it. I myself wasn’t able to bring myself to do it, although I was pretty darn upset that my belligerence wasn’t allowing me to get $50 for free. Sometimes I still cry myself to sleep about it on sleepless nights.
So far I haven’t been able to find any real pros to using this system other than convenience, and even that’s stretching it a bit as I only ever run into machines that accept those type of payments from phone-to-machine. I guess I feel that using plastic cards is already easy enough, but who knows? This idea seems to have enough interest to be generating multiple services to pop up, so maybe it really will be an everyday thing in a few years.
What do you think about mobile payment services? Do you use them, or prefer not to? Why or why not? Let me know how you feel in the comments!
Images via Google