Technology is not only fun for me, it’s also practical. I like technology because it’s convenient and it helps me organize and manage my life.
One of the things I’ve been doing more of in recent years is mobile payment. It’s so easy to pull out your phone at the register or show it to the people at the drive through and let hem scan it and off you go.
There seems to be a trend however where every store I visit and every restaurant I go to has an app of their own that includes a payment system of it’s own. I have to load cash into an app and then pay from the app. This is getting less convenient instead of more as you have to manage balances in each app individually. One of the motivations behind this is reward systems and points, and free items when you spend a certain amount, but it means having to manage multiple payment systems, which is distracting and inefficient.
I find myself more and more reaching for the debit card because I don’t want to take the time to load money into each of the apps and manage all of that. In my household budget, I have a categories for food, and gas for example, I don’t want to take the time to think about how much I want to spend in this restaurant or at that gas station when I’m doing the monthly allotment and then load cash into each app, so I feel like I’m missing out on a lot of rewards.
What I want is for the restaurants I do business with to manage my loyalty through their apps so that they keep track of how many chicken sandwiches I eat, but let me pay for it from a single source, whether that’s Apple Pay, or Google Wallet, or Venmo or Square. Then mobile payment can become convenient and ubiquitous.
Now let me take it one step further…
What I’d really like is a mobile app that’s tied to my bank account that also has a budgeting utility. When I get paid, I’ll go into the budgeting portion of my app and put $100 into “Restaurants” and $50 into “Gas”. Then when I pay using my mobile device, on the confirmation screen, I can tap on an appropriate category and the budget will be updated. At that point mobile payment is truly life changing.