August 31, 2012A plastic debit card has pretty much replaced cash in my life.
My direct deposit ensures that I'll never have to step into a bank to make a money drop, and I haven't written a check now for years.
The convenience of using a debit card to pay for groceries, gas and even purchases at a farmers market is unmatched. Yes, it comes with its problems, most notably of overspending because I'm no longer balancing my account, but the convenience has also made it easier to keep track of my finances online.
Online access to banks through mobile devices is also what will phase out our debit cards.
Case in point is how many places are now accepting payments through mobile devices.
At a Starbucks, I recently forgot my physical card, but because I'd set up an app on my smartphone, the barista was able to scan my phone and complete the sale.
Other major retailers have also announced their plans to begin accepting or expand mobile payments, some with a scan at the register, others with wireless technology that lets a merchant access credit and debit cards stored on your account.
So there you have it, a future without debit cards, credit cards and physical gift cards, all from the ease of a cellphone.
Still not convinced?
Using a cellphone for purchases can also be more secure than a physical card. Have you noticed when your phone is missing? Probably quicker than when your cards are missing.
With all of the accounts under a cellphone, one call can disable them all, while many apps allow you to set up a security lock.
Say your wallet or purse was taken. By the time you realize it's gone, a thief could have racked up thousands in purchases.
The technology is already here. Now, it's time to sign up to ditch the plastic.