Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

My Walletless Month

The headline of Christina Bonnington’s Wired article says “Happier, Healthier and Ready to Ditch Cash Forever”. The body of the article says otherwise:

There were also issues with the technology as it currently stands. Multiple retail employees told me of issues with Google Wallet — sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I experienced this myself on two separate occasions, when NFC readers seemed to refuse to acknowledge my phone’s chip.

I also had problems with the Square Wallet app. More than once, I came upon places that were listed in the app’s directory but that did not actually accept it. One did not even have the card reader set up. The worst offenders were in Honolulu, where there was likely a discrepancy between the owner or manager who began setting up Square (or merely signed up for it) and employees who weren’t informed about how it works.

It’s hard to do in 2012, but it’s slowly getting easier. I find that it’s impossible to leave the house with just my Interac and Visa cards, my ID, and a couple of payment apps on my phone. There are still far too many places that just take cash, or where paying by card is too tedious for a small amount.