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digital wallet goes from concept to reality in 2013

digital walle world shopping

Your digital device can be your mobile phone, tablet device and laptops and computers, game systems. For your 'wallet items' think credit cards, debit cards, reward cards/loyalty cards, rechargeable store cards, coupons and gift cards. Yes, truly comprehensive. Many players are competing in this consumer space, so expect many trials and pilots and from wireless carriers, devices and card companies to try out many different ways. If you like standards that are already common and consistent, you'll need to wait a few years. If you enjoy trying out the latest gadgets, apps, and technologies, you can choose to try some of it out today.

mobile platform matters

Bottom line is Apple and Android are dominant software platforms in mobile today, so app selection will be focused on these modern phones first. That doesn't mean you can't use your blackberry or other platform, just selection and support will vary. If you're like me and want to really replace your digital wallet with your mobile, you'll buy these types. If you're like most people you probably won't choose your phone for this feature. After all, we called it a cell phone for years for a reason.

what's coming

laptop digital walletMobile app and pilots are already underway to transform your everyday payment options online, by mobile and in-store. Major players include banks like Citibank, start-ups like Square and billion-dollar Internet pioneers like Google apps and Pay Pal (and eBay company). Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts will be bringing digital wallets to customer soon, and in different ways. Starbucks via its own mobile app and via Square, Dunkin as an app version of its existing rechargeable 'DD' cards and online re-charging options.

what you can use today

Not surprisingly, bank apps, store apps and many more digital wallet apps are pushing to your mobile quickly, especially for Apple and Android phones. Quality and consistently will vary quite a bit, and options will vary as well. For example, I recently use my CVS app to refill a prescription, and that was very convenient. However, I couldn't use my groupon last week at a local vendor because my app was having issues. Probably my carrier had a data issue, but either way I'll simply try again.

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