The days of the wallet may be numbered as consumers and retailers look ahead to a new era of the "virtual wallet".
Paymark, which processes the bulk of New Zealand's electronic card payments, has joined forces with telecommunication companies to set up a system whereby people need only their mobile phones to make purchases, collect loyalty points and access public transport.
Cards kept in a wallet can be replaced by applications securely stored in the virtual wallet on the mobile phone.
At checkout, customers will be able to pay by holding their mobile phone within a couple of centimetres of the adapted payment terminal. The phone communicates with the terminal to complete the transaction, and banking information is transmitted.
New Zealand Retailers Association chief executive John Albertson said it was great to see New Zealand catching up with other countries by launching its own scheme.
"Certainly I can see a day where a significant portion of the market will be operating with the phone being a base for transactions," Mr Albertson said.
"It's one of those moves that's going to probably take time for all parties to really appreciate benefits. The early adopters are probably going to be the younger generation, who are... certainly happier working everything off their phone.
" Low-value transactions could be "just a pass of the phone over the terminal". But for higher-value transactions, there would need to be security measures such as a PIN number, Mr Albertson said.
Paymark chief executive Simon Tong said his company's collaboration on the new system with Vodafone, 2degrees and Telecom would focus on providing a product that was available to all and safe to use.
A trial is expected soon, with the goal being to have it in stores late next year.
2degrees chief executive Eric Hertz said: "Over the past decade, our mobile phone has swallowed our newspaper, our map and our camera to become an essential all-in-one device. The logical next step is to make it even more convenient by having it swallow our wallet, and making it the only thing you need to grab when you leave the house in the morning".
Enough. Enough. Enough. This is just too much for my technophobe brain to handle.
I have done my best to keep up with technology. I really have.
I email instead of posting letters. I pay my bills online. I observe my friends' Facebook activities and pages instead of actually picking up the phone to talk to them - or getting out of the house to actually visit them. I communicate with my sister in America via Skype which is actually really cool because now i can see my little nephew and he loves dancing for his Auntie Jackie. I don't buy the newspaper - i read it online. I don't pick up the phone to order a pizza - i pick up my laptop. I even finally upgraded to a smart phone when Telecom offered me one for free on a contract - now my camera, emails, text messaging, blog, facebook all follow me everywhere i go - in my back pocket.
I have tried to adjust to our changing world - BUT I WILL NEVER GIVE UP MY WALLET!
What will happen if my phone falls out of my back pocket and lands in the toilet - like it has nearly done every day since i have owned it?
What happens if i can't pay my bill on time and i get disconnected?
What happens if someone is not on a contract and can't afford credit for a few days?
What happens if someone drops their phone and it smashes in to pieces like mine nearly did at Uni the other day?
What happens if someone steals your phone? I already worry enough about someone getting a hold of my phone and just being able to touch a button and have access to my Facebook, emails, blog etc...but now i am going to have to add bank account to that as well?
I swear - i will NEVER give up my cards and my wallet.
No way Jose.
Enough of technology. Someone make it stop!