The Smartphone As A Wallet
Last night the Gotham Gal and I went out with a bunch of friends. We met at a restaurant on the upper east side that had recently opened. It was snowing pretty heavily all day yesterday and we were worried about getting a cab on the street. So as we were getting ready to leave, I hailed a cab on my smartphone so that it would pull up in front of our apartment building. The car came more quickly than I thought it would and we scrambled out of the apartment and got in the car and headed uptown.
When we arrived at the restaurant, I realized that I had left my wallet in the apartment. Because the cab was paid for on my phone, the driver had been paid and tipped. But I was concerned about paying for dinner. So I told the Gotham Gal that she would have to pay for dinner. And then she told me that she too had walked out without her wallet.
Fortunately we were having dinner with friends and I asked one of them to pay for our share of the dinner, which he was happy to do. When the check came, I asked him how much our share was, he told me, and I pulled out my phone, opened my Coinbase app, and sent him a fraction of a Bitcoin to cover our part.
I then hailed a cab to get us back home and when we walked out of the restaurant the car was out front waiting for us. We got in, went home, and walked the dog and went to bed.
We paid for every part of the evening on my smartphone. Had we been going out solo last night the Bitcoin bit would not likely have been possible. But my gut says that will change pretty quickly. We are not the only people getting used to paying for things on our phone and doing it frequently. The experience we had last night seems likely to be normal and customary in a few years time. And I can say that it is a convenient and pleasant and I am excited to see it coming.