Retailers are leading the charge, adopting various technologies to limit cash transactions in favor of all things electronic. Relevantly, PayPal is developing a system that bypasses the checkout line entirely, using a smart phone app that wirelessly communicates with the store's registers to accept and acknowledge payment. The concept for MasterCard’s MasterPass is similar, allowing customers to use their smart phones for payment instead of a physical credit card.
Cashless payments are coming to other industries and businesses as well. Disney, for example, is trying out digital wristbands at its theme parks. The radio-frequency bands are linked to visitor's credit cards so that a simple swipe of the wrist is all that is needed to make purchase.
Developers are also embracing recognition technologies to make payments. A Finnish company has developed a facial-scan system that allows shoppers to pay with a smile, simply by showing his or her face. Other groups are testing a payment methods built around fingerprint and other biometric recognition.
In another arena, the trend of digital currencies, like Bitcoins, are gaining traction with retailers and consumers alike. The coin has already been embraced by mainstream retailers like Zara, Forever 21, and other leading stores which have tested the option of paying for online purchases using Bitcoin. Domino’s Pizza is also accepting the currency, through a third-party provider. The trend is strong enough that it has encouraged a number of spin-offs, including an online currency launched by Amazon.com.
According to the public speaker Daniel Levine, "New initiatives are encouraging shoppers to leave their wallets at home. It's a game-changing development that has the power to change the way we shop and consume."
About Daniel Levine
Daniel Levine is the Director of The Avant-Guide institute, the global trends experts for travel and consumer marketing based in New York City. As one of the world's best-known trends experts and a public speaker on issues related to trends marketing, Daniel specializes in consumer trends across the industrial spectrum, including travel, food, technology, fashion, and more. His website is DanielLevine.com
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