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by Kevin Coupe has a piece about a new smart phone application called Card Case, made by a company called Square, which it suggests could make carrying credit cards obsolete. But not in the way that other pay-by-phone applications say they can do the same thing.

“Because Card Case runs on your phone, it may sound at first like the same clunky, phone-and-pay-pad systems being peddled by other firms,” Slate reports. “But Card Case doesn’t let you pay with your phone; it lets you pay with your name. With this app, you go into a store, choose what you want to buy, and then tell the cashier your name. That’s it—you’ve just paid. You don’t have to pull out your phone, you don’t have to open the app, you don’t have to sign, swipe, or wait for change. As long as your phone is on your person while you’re in the store - in your pocket or your purse - Card Case can authorize your payment without you having to do a thing.”

Essentially, the Card Case application opens your “tab” as soon as you walk into a retailer that is equipped with the hardware and software. (The hardware is an iPad.) You buy what you want, you tell the cashier to put it on your tab, and he or she can do with one click. The company says that there are plenty of security measures in place to prevent identity theft, including a picture of the consumer that comes up on the retailer’s iPad - if you don’t look like your picture, the transaction does not go through.

The only downside at this point is that there aren’t enough retailers out there using the system to make it a national system - but there, in fact, some 20,000 retailers doing so, mainly in places like New York and San Francisco. But the company hopes it can get more retailers to opt into the system, thereby making it more pervasive ... and potentially an Eye-Opening change in how people pay for what they buy.
KC's View: