Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Your mobile's your new wallet (or soon will be)

Cash. It's heavy, it's dirty (money is well known to harbour all manner of germs), it disappears far too fast, and having to go to get some more means making an effort that many of us could live without.

Many years ago someone gave me one of those fun-but-random books on made up words that should really exist.  One of the more memorable ones was "coinophony" the  noise made by jangling coins in your pocket. Some see it as a satisfying boredom-busting activity, others as downright annoying noise, but perhaps it's a word that will cease to be relevant at all with NFC (Near Field Communication) becoming an increasing reality.

I can already swipe my Barclays Connect card against readers in certain retail outlets for small purchases, but mobile handsets that have the same swipe and pay functionality have been all over all the big tech shows this year and will be in the hands of consumers over the coming months.  There's is already a live in market test going on in Poland.  With new phones having the technology built in and more investment in infrastructure from retailers we will no doubt see the days numbered of the phone, keys, wallet check before leaving the house.   

We're already seeing that consumers' search habits change between a desktop and a handheld mobile device;  what they are searching for, when, and how quickly they make a decision or increasingly opt to purchase there and then is different. Imagine in a joined up, connected world with your phone-that's-now-also-your-wallet never far from your hand, the opportunities to convert interest into purchase in a shorter, smoother journey.

Here's a nice video from Google that makes the point.

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