These days, your phone is a lot more than just something that you use to call a person. With smartphones, you have an infinite wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. You can find out what anyone is up to at a given moment with social media apps, find out the latest movie times, or settle a spirited bar-room debate, all with a few touches on your screen.
Our phones have woven themselves into becoming a part of our lives, and soon, they will be a part of our wallet. The companies that are responsible for the two most popular smartphone operating systems in the country have created payment services that take your credit card information, and make a digital copy of your card on your phone. Many big-box retailers have adopted these services into their checkout counters; go into any grocery store, and you will see their stickers where you would swipe your credit card.
Other big-box retailers use their own apps for digital payments, incorporating them as a piece of a loyalty gamification program. Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts are two examples at the forefront of this business model, offering points and stars when customers purchase items at their locations. Starbucks has a Gold Card program, where a customer can earn free drinks, food, and discounts after buying a certain number of items in a given year. Dunkin' has a rewards program where purchasing coffee and food leads to discounts on coffee, as well as free items. By using an app-based gamification system, customers feel as if they are a member of an exclusive club, and develop a sense of loyalty to a brand as a result.
Still other platforms use your phone as either a digital gift card, or a redeeming service for vouchers. Square, for example, offers a simple attachment that turns your smartphone into a credit card reader. Other platforms, like GiftFly, offer the ability to use a mobile app to scan and redeem eGift cards. Now local merchants can sell their gift cards online with the easy-to-use platform GiftFly offers. Customers carry their GiftFly eGift card on their phones, and our merchant app scans the unique QR code to redeem them for the appropriate amount.
Soon, you will never have to worry about leaving your wallet, and forgetting to put it in your back pocket. Your phone will hold your money, credit cards, and local gift cards for you.