What does the future hold for cardless payment?

Remember when there used to be a time where if you forgot your wallet at home, your lunch is ruined? Those days are a rare sight now, in fact you can just order lunch from a food delivery apps. If you are ever in need of a ride to a place, you can just use a ride-hailing apps like Uber or Grab.

Mobile wallets are expected to overtake cards as the most popular payment in 2019, according to The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. There is no denying that contactless card payment is more convenient than any other payment methods.


Cashless payment: what future have in store for it?

  1. A longed necessity of improvement

It has been a long evolution but it is finally here. It shapes the payment landscape as a result.

Before money or currency was invented as the mediums of transaction, bartering was practised where an exchange of item based on the mutual agreement between two or more parties happened. If it happens in a nowadays setting, it will sound something like this, “You want my item, I want yours. So, let’s swap.” Around 6000 BC ago, this was the norm.

However, barter system depends too much on efforts and extreme lucks. You need at least two parties that own something and able to dispose of their item in which the other party wants it. As this grew slow and inconvenience, bartering replaced by money.

Money becomes the currency or the official medium to the mutual trading practice. This was the start of payment evolution.

Fast forward to 8000 years later, mobile wallet is now replacing the conventional money and card payments.

In 2011, Google Wallet, an innovative mobile payment method was introduced. It was also introduced as an improvement to card payment, an upgrade to it. Consumers longed for something to replace the old school card swiping payment method. The burden of carrying around cards with them, fearing of misplaced or the thought of it being stolen have lingered their mind for quite some time.

This has brought Apple to address this issue and introduced Apple Pay, an easy-to-use and secured payment method.


  1. Extra security is always welcomed

No one is going to say no to an improved security. Security is always the one issue that will never fade away from anyone’s. It is like the stain that always stuck on your car even after you wash it, polish it or even spray a new colour to cover it. The stain keep on coming back.

You can think of mobile payment as a new kind of car spray. Only this car spray is really good with removing the stains or preventing from showing again. Your bank account is linked to and communicated with mobile wallets securely using your physical car, which then encrypted to be a token.

Like its name, token is a digital representation of your card details in a form of digital token. Keep in mind, it does not keep your details with it. Instead your details are secured in a digital vault. Do the math, and you will see that even if the token hijacked, the hijackers will get nothing but random generated numbers.

Above that, you will also authorise every individual transaction using biometric data, a PIN or even some other methods such as unique lock screen combination.

As things stand, improved securities are always welcomed. Any security mechanisms that equally or better for consumers to use will always have a place in the future.


  1. Slowly but surely

Saying goodbye to something that has always been there is undoubtedly hard and might take some time. Cardless payment is replacing the old school cash and card payment. Although it is not happening at a fast pace, but slowly, it is burning through.

In fact, several movements have already begun to take place. For instance, a virtual tokenized card was recently launched by Visa. Basically, it is a digital copy of your physical one. In the other sections of contactless payments, biometric experienced a unique development when Brazilian bank Banco Bradesco pioneered a cardless ATM that read the vein pattern in users’ palm.

Meanwhile, in China you can simply smile at 3D camera to pay for your KFC meals, which is very interesting.

However, despite all the hypes and the promising future, these advance technologies are still in their testing-phase. With few issues left that need to be sorted out like, what happen if someone managed to steal your palm identity? However, these technologies must not be overlooked as they are the future.

Mainstream momentum of these technologies might be slow, but as mobile payment and other payment alternative is picking up the threads and make further progress, surely it will motivate the pace. Like the old saying, “Rome is not built in one day”, great things will definitely take times.

But, when it finally arrives, you can rest assure that it will change the payment industry way bigger than it is now.