Yesterday, PayPal announced that they have reached 100 million users! A truly exciting milestone for the company, but why should the general public care?
Well, according to Ben Parr of Mashable, you should care – even if you aren’t a PayPal employee – because this signifies a major tipping point in how we pay for services and merchandise. While more and more purchases are moving online, cash has become a thing of the past and physical stores have become an expense that many businesses simply can’t afford.
With growing technologies such as Square, Google Wallet, and Bank of America and Visa’s mobile phone tag, the need for cash is simply not there anymore. Smartphone usage is seemingly unstoppable, constantly growing, meaning that it would be entirely possible to pay cover for a bar by waving your phone at the bouncer, or reimburse a friend by bumping your phones together.
As someone who rarely – if ever – carries cash as it is, I am looking forward to the day when splitting a bill at a restaurant doesn’t involve a mass exodus to the nearest ATM and then heckling over how to pay $17.50 each when the only tender at hand is 20 dollar bills.
But is there a downside to this movement toward mobile payment? How will those without smart phones conduct a business? When will the first “credit card only” business open, and will they succeed?