We do always talk about the minimalist lifestyle and give you tips on how to carry the lightest version of your wallet. Using an Aviator Wallet and leaving tons of unneccessairy stuff like family photos, old receipts or loose change at home is the first step to minimalism. Over the past couple months a new technology thing showed up and got popular. We tested if it is worth a try and embedding it in your daily life.
Of course we are talking about paying apps like Google or Android Pay, Wallet Passes or Wallet. Interactive apps to set up a digital wallet on your smartphone. No matter wheter to pay with it or to store customer cards, trading cards or club cards. It offers you the opportunity to carry a lightweight wallet while at the same time you do not have to go shopping without your favourite coupon cards, even if you only carry them virtually. So there is not easier way to carry minimalistic, right?
Virtual Discount Cards
Wheter for the train, plane, cinema or baker: searching in your wallet for tickets or cards is annoying. Alternativley, you can simply hold your smartphone with a barcode in front of the store scanner. The digital way can save tons of paper and plastic compared to the classic way.
All you need to do is to set up your virtual wallet with a smartphone that has an integrated NFC chip and an app like StoCard, Pass2U, OneWallet or WalletPasses. You only need to virtually create all of your cards, save and start to use them with your phone.
But how does this work? The basic requirement for setting up a virtual card is that it's provider needs to make the card available with the file extension pkpass. Problem: there is a good chance that your local bakery from around the corner, a family business for 30 years, won't provide a bonus card with pkpass.
Credit, Scores and Sensitive Data
According to certain trade magazines, the app StoCard can save cards from over 100 providers and can also call up scores and credits from car clubs, retailers, hardware stores, discounters, petrol station or coffee shops. But there is a restriction: when creating the card virtually, the user has to enter his login information for the associated online portals so that the app can access it. This is really sensitive data, so you should secure access to the app in it's settings. The app is for free, but exchanges data with the varios card issuers and promotes specials. Ask yourself if it is really worth to reveal personal data to get a view discounts from a coffee shop.
The transparent customer becomes even more transparent
If you take a critical look at customer and discount cards anyway, you won't appreciate any of these apps. The limiting factor in the mass of customer and membership cards was previously the space in the wallet. But with apps there are now no limits. The warning about the glass customer is now more relevant than ever. Customers often provide a lot of data for a few percent discount. Ask yourself again, if it is really worth it.
Another risk: In addition to collecting points, discount card providers also offer a payment function in their apps. This enables even more precise insights into consumer behavior for tailor-made advertising.
But of course also the practical benefit is paramount. Although you may reveal more about yourself, the digital wallet offers a great advantage: a wallet that fits into a jacket or trouser pocket or into a small handbag without being bulky - and that's what minimalism is all about.
The idea of a virtual wallet is itself a very good idea and only the logical next step in the change of advancing technologies. The apps create more space in the wallet and can simplify everyday life as soon as you get used to using your smartphone. This will certainly take some time for most users. Another advantage is that most apps are free to download. Despite the advantages of such payment apps, one should be careful: to use most apps, personal data must be disclosed. This makes the glass customer even more transparent. Now you can argue who cares, how often I get a coffee from the bakery in the morning or how many rolls I bought on Sunday. Nevertheless, it expands the data profile with some valuable information that hardly seems to be beneficial for ordinary people, but can be very valuable for many companies in terms of advertising or marketing.
Our tip: use a payment app that you can use best. But don't overdo it with uploading personal data or the amount of virtual discount cards.
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