Our flexible friend, the credit card is part of our every day life and has been since the 1960s, it is the normal way to pay for goods and services and to access cash from an ATM, but will it be around for much longer? There are many new ways to pay, and they are likely to become mainstream within in the next 20 years, maybe even the next 5 or 10.
Credit cards have been around in the UK since Barclaycard launched their first one in 1966. Many older generations will remember this and will also remember how wary they were about paying for things without using cash or a cheque. While it can feel like credit (and debit) cards are the safest option and new technologies are less secure, it's important to remember that credit cards were new and scary once too.
Anything new is always going to present challenges, and a learning curve Our money and our personal details are very important to us. If these valuable pieces of information fall into the wrong hands, we can become victims of fraud – something which can take a while to recover from financially. New payment technologies are being invented all the time and many of them are more secure and more convenient than you may realise.
Paying for things with your mobile phone is a growing trend which could soon be the norm for the next generation. Most of us carry our whole lives around within our smartphone, so why not use it for making payments too? Technology like Apple Pay works the same as contactless card payments using a debit/credit card or an Oyster card. You simply tap the phone to the payment terminal and confirmation will show up on both the till and your phone screen. There’s even technology which allows you to see real-time balances when you’ve made a mobile payment, meaning you’ll never overspend by accident ever again. All you need to do is download an App and link it to your bank account. It’s that simple.
Paym (pronounced pay-em) is a banking App, introduced in 2014 and embraced by the major UK banks, which allows you to send payments to family and friends easily simply by sending a text message.
Although it may sound incredibly futuristic, lots of work has been done to develop biometric payment technology. This means that, at some point in the near future, we’ll be able to pay for things using just a fingerprint or retina scan. The technology can even be integrated into Google Glass, you could potentially pay for things by simply blinking!
Pay With Your Skills
Moving away from technology now, a new skills-based bartering trend has gathered pace in recent years. The world wide web has brought many people together in a way that was impossible to do before and ‘paying with skills’ is now a thriving way of getting goods and services without any money changing hands at all. Say you are handy with carpentry, but don’t know how to sort out your broken plumbing. Instead of paying for a plumber to come and fix it for you, you could offer your carpentry services on a site like LocalSkillSwap in exchange for someone to fix your pipes. Sure, it takes time and effort, but it’s fast becoming a legitimate way of getting what you want without having to use a credit card at all.
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