The Advance of Smartphones - Do we still need Cards?

Mar 07, 2016
Author: Ean Barnard

Before we look at the advance of smartphones,

First, what is a smartphone?

A smartphone is a mobile phone with an advanced mobile operating system. Smartphones typically include the features of a cell phone with those of other popular mobile devices, such as personal digital assistant, media player and GPS navigation unit. They are typically able to perform many of the functions of a computer, having a relatively large screen and an operating system capable of running general-purpose applications. The mobile phone as we know it has come a long way thanks to exponential technology growth and to those that saw the possibilities.

How far we’ve come

Remember some of the first mobile phones? Some of which were very expensive and had the look and weight of a brick – you could literally use it for self-defence. The advance of smartphones over the last 20 years has been nothing short of amazing. Smartphones are commonplace today. Even grandpa - who swore he would never carry one - slaps one onto his hip when he commutes to town. Today, we’re not just concerned with the basic cell phone use of old, we want smartphones. We want to be connected, browse online stores, take photos, listen to music, and even run a business – all with the smartphone. And it surely is possible!  

The latest

The advance of smartphones has really been made evident with things like having the convenience of payment apps, location based services, and various other communication possibilities at a fraction of the cost of the typical phone call. In an article, Smartphones set to replace cards at ATMs, another new possibility comes to life. The card-less automatic teller machine (ATM) is gaining traction all around the world owing to smartphone technology allowing for speedier and more secure transactions. Many banks around South Africa have already installed new ATMs or updated existing ones to allow customers to order cash on a mobile application and then scan a code to get their money without having to insert a bank card.

So, forgot your debit or credit card at home? There’s an app for that! One of the first banks in South Africa to offer this service and living up to their pioneering nature, is FNB. Customers can use the app - which can be downloaded from Apple, Android, Windows and BlackBerry stores - to withdraw money without using bank cards. So, irrespective of the reason some forget their cards at home, our mobile devices are usually within an arms length away. And besides the convenience, there are many additional benefits such as decreased time spent at an ATM, therefore making it safer and faster to withdraw cash.

So do we still need bank cards?

As South African citizens, yes. We're still quite some way off from living card-less with regards to infrastructure, but we can’t deny the possibility. We've gone cordless, but we are not ready for going entirely card-less. The advance of smartphones has replaced cards at ATM’s, but they won’t replace all of the ways we transact in just yet. Who knows what’s next? However - What we do know – the future of banking isn’t just online, it’s on the smartphone.

So, why not grab your smartphone, search Fincheck in your browser, and viola! - you can compare loans on your smartphone!

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