An application on my Smartphone force-closes at least once a week! Frustrating!
I find myself stranded at least twice a week when my Smartphone runs out of juice.Â Frustrating!
Now imagine how frustrated you would feel if your phone was your sole purchasing device and it froze or died! Double, triple, quadrupleâ€¦ frustrating!
In the ever-expanding space of cards and payments, mobile payments is becoming one of the most talked about subjects. While many people feel that a shift to mobile is inevitable, and that cell phones will eventually prove more practical and convenient than credit and loyalty cards, I think this is merely a pipe dream.
Mobile applications will help consolidate all these cards, eliminate the scavenger hunt through your wallet at the cash register, and give you access to some neat perks, but mobile payments and mobile loyalty programs are far from perfect.
But admittedly some the features being rolled out are pretty cool!
The Starbucks rewards application gives customers access to free Starbucks products, and lets you to link the points program to any major credit card. Consumers reap the benefits of these programs without worrying about maintaining a slew of different credit cards. Best of all, if you no longer want the application, it can just be deleted on the spot.
Rewards programs like Coca-Cola have even gone a step further. The points that are gained through the My Coke Rewards program can be used towards products that don't just come from coke. You can win electronics, trips, gifts cards, or even donate to a good cause.
Despite these positives, I think the negatives currently outweigh them. With a credit card, you know exactly what is going to happen after you swipe. So you literally get to swipe and move on. Remember all that frustration we vented earlier? Applications will never have the same level of certainty that credit card do. The hassle and stress created when your phone decides to freak out at the counter is going to be unbearable. Restarting the application, or even your phone, will exponentially increase the time of purchase, and leave you in a bad mood.
Also, is it really wise to put everything on one device? The logic is that if everything is running through your cell phone, that's all you're going to ever need to make purchases. But like I pointed out earlier, Smartphone batteries suck. If you're putting all of these applications on your phone to make payment and loyalty point collecting easier, how short is the battery life going to be?
Look, I know that over time companies will work to make these applications more stable in order to ensure maximum efficiency. When they've perfected them, a major shift to mobile will probably become imminent. The rewards programs are going to be improved and will become more enticing. But saying that your credit card will be obsolete is just ridiculous. And honestly, carrying around at least just one card can't be that hard.