Arment Dietrich

The End of Credit Cards is Near!

By: Arment Dietrich | January 27, 2011 | 

If you have not heard, “the end of credit cards is near!” in some form or another during the past few days, then crawl out from under your rock and read the news, subscribe to some RSS feeds or newsletters, or watch some TV.

We predicted mobile payments here on Spin Sucks last October, then talked about it as a growth area for 2011 earlier this month, and then CNN Money validated our prediction when they announced it earlier this week.  Since then, I’ve been thinking…

Does it excite me that I don’t have to carry around a chunky wallet with my cards in it?  Or does it freak me out knowing that even more of my life is going to be held in one tiny, losable, crashable, breakable, device?  What do think?

Does the idea of using your phone as a credit card:

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I thought the Chase blink feature was amazing and I still get excited when I just “bump” instead of “slide.”

According to a report from Aite Group, “this pay-by-phone market is forecast to make up $22 billion in transactions by 2015, up from ‘practically none’ last year.”

Maybe my fiancé won’t leave his phone in a cab again.  And maybe my friends will be more careful with their phones near any type of water source.  Maybe when my boss runs to the bathroom, I could swipe her phone real quick, pick up the tab, and order me an extra doggy bag?  Oh the possibilities…

Take the poll. Let us know if you think the end of credit cards is near!


It is not the end of Credit Cards, it is the end of having to always carry your Credit Card, you will still get that Credit Card in the mail, and then enter the Credit Card numbers on your phone.

Pretty hard to make a Credit Card payment over the phone (landline) by swiping your cell phone, chances are you will be able to look at your cell phone, and read off your Credit Card numbers...

Credit Cards are not going away they are adding another payment method of swiping the CREDIT CARD


Hi Molli,
It does scare me to think of all my "stuff" in one place like that! Makes me think of The Handmaiden's Tale where they have a chip beneath their skin with all their banking info on it. When we start to worry about losing the source of all our info, will they scare us into that - for the sake of security and convenience? I don't mind carrying a wallet with cards in it - I still use cash too! Besides I just bought this beautiful wallet when I was in Greece recently....

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

Can't get the voting thing to work for me. I will always want at least one card. Sometimes a phone is too bulky especially at the beach or exercising. I also wonder how hard/easy it is to switch which card you use on your phone as well as is it easier for people to steal your info. Remember someone hacked Paris Hillton's Blackberry posting all her friends numbers online. I have been told over the cell network predators can grab from the airways. Curious if that is still true. I can imagine someone with wifi and a laptop drinking a latte at Starbucks lifting number after number.

As it is in Europe and Canada I heard our CC's don't work. They require a smart chip inside which ours does not have yet.

That all said I am 100% behind any type of payments that are easy and secure. @ginidietrich @Griddy if you ditch cards all together you will need to use your phone to buy things online at home with a special reader?

ginidietrich moderator

WAIT! I'm your boss! Note to self: Never leave my phone in Molli's reach. Because I LOVE THIS! I cannot wait to only have to carry my phone around! And I have it set up with an instant shut down if I lose it. All I do is call AT&T, enter a special pin, and it's wiped.


Hey Molli,

What at interesting topic this is. I've been looking at the poll deciding what box to tick and I think the reason for why I'm still hesitant is that I believe it depends where in the world you live.

I think the idea of being able to pay by phone is absolutely insane (in a great way lol). Incredible how far we've come along - and this is an exciting development.

I wonder how long it will take for consumers to start shifting towards this trend when it happens. Habits are sometimes difficult to change and people sometimes take time to start trusting a new way - especially when it has to do with their money. But then again...

As for me - the thought of not having to take out a credit card (or cash) at a restaurant to pay the bill does seem a bit strange. How would that work?

As it is, my life is in my phone (thank goodness for passwords and phone locks) and therefore adding this fab feature here would just be an extra plus I suppose once it takes off and I get used to it.

But you'd be surprised of all the telecom and banking services that you're limited to (or sometimes behind in) when you don't live in North America or Europe.

I think it will be a while before the rest of the world is able to use this option. This is why my vote is somewhere in between 3, 4, and 5 - but for different reasons than you stated. Ask me again when this becomes the "norm" or the "latest" craze and I'll be voting 1.

But...that said...I sure would like to try paying that way someday soon :). But say goodbye to putting your phone out on the table anywhere you go lol.

A great, thought-provoking piece. I'm curious to read what others think.


@HowieG @ginidietrich Hey Chief Alien,
Actually, I wasn't able to vote either Howie - nothing happens when I click on the Vote box.

In my case - I'm rather limited to buying online. I don't have a PayPal account and the country I currently reside in is not on their list of countries :(. You have no idea how limiting this is for me in everything. It's pretty annoying.

Basically - I very rarely do. Plus the shipping charges (overnight and other) to Beirut are ridiculously expensive. So if it's not a significant purchase - the shipping charges could be as expensive as the item you purchased - again, depends on what it is you're buying.

As for the smart chip - yes - those are used in Europe but the regular cards should work just fine. I use my non-chip one all the time.

Here in Lebanon - we even have our pics on our credit cards - so you don't even need to sign the back anymore.

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