Mobile payment technology is already becoming more widespread, as new phones incorporate NFC tech.
And while Apple might believe that the NFC game is still very much in its infancy, some companies are predicting faster movement when it comes to swiping your mobile to pay instead of using a debit or credit card.
PayPal has been banging the mobile payments drum for some time, perhaps unsurprisingly as it has a vested interest in online payments.
This summer the company noted that the amount of mobile payments estimated to go through in 2011, which was initially predicted to be $1.5 billion, had doubled up to a likely $3 billion by the close of the year.
And indeed Forrester Research predicted that mobile payment volumes will hit over $30 billion come the year 2016.
And the latest news to emerge, from a PayPal commissioned Forrester Research study, funnily enough, indicates that 2016 will be the year of the “digital switchover” in monetary terms.
According to a report in the Metro, ten senior execs from large retailers were questioned as part of the research, and nine of them believe digital payments will be fully accepted inside of four years.
PayPal UK managing director Carl-Olav Scheible told the Metro: “We’ll see a huge change over the next few years in the way we shop and pay. By 2016, you’ll be able to leave your wallet at home and use your mobile as a 21st-century digital wallet.”
The year 2016, then, will theoretically be the beginning of the cashless society, but we’d expect cash, cards and cheques will be around a long time after then.
There are still plenty of older folks who write cheques today, and cash and cards are likely to be far more persistent payment mediums into the future. There are still plenty of businesses out there which operate on a cash-only basis, or mostly cash.