My birthday, in the middle of March, was marked this year by a very special, and certainly memorable event. It was the day the entire country shut down (and certainly not in my honour). My luncheon plans cancelled, as did my dinner and I remember looking in my pocket and pulling out a ten and a five dollar bill, with nothing to spend it on. Here we are, nearly six months later, and I still have the same two bills in my pocket. I have them, not because I am frugal, but because of a recent revolutionary invention, known as ‘tap’.
Once the pandemic started, it seems every retailer switched to tap services as their payment system. Wow, did that ever make life easy. In fact, no one wanted cash, and the standard checkout phrase became, “Credit or debit?”
Not only could I use my credit card, but also my phone. I was one of the first to get on the Apple Pay system, to use my phone to pay for things. What a great concept; order something on line, go to pick it up, out comes the phone, push a button and bingo, all finished.
Not only was the idea great, in reality it was flawless. I have always been apprehensive about using my credit card to tap, in case it went missing. Anyone could then go anywhere, and pay by tapping my card. The phone gives me a very strong encrypted security, so if I lose it no one can use it.
Stores had raised their tap limits and all was great, until the requirement to wear masks became mandatory. My phone has facial recognition and, of course, it did not recognise my face. I tried pasting a photo of me onto the mask, but that didn’t work at all. Then it hit me… my Apple Watch!
Sure enough it doesn’t care what I look like, because it gets its security from my pulse. In fact, I don’t even need my phone with me when I use my watch to tap. I even get a notification that my payment has been made. We, as a society, have never had it this easy to pay for something.
So what about reward points? I can’t get groceries without flashing my Optimum or Air Miles cards and what would a visit to Canadian Tire be without my rewards card? In my ongoing effort to carry less ‘stuff’, I came across a free app called, Stocard. All I had to do was, take a pic of the back of my points card and it’s stored. Now when a clerk asks “Do you have a rewards card?”, I open the app, click on the card and they quickly scan it.
Spending money has never been easier, and I still have my $15 in my pocket.