e-wallet

a.k.a. 2G card, 2G plastic, digital wallet, cashless mobile payment system, magnetized wallet, proverbial wallet, virtual wallet

A portable personal profile that stores a user's shipping address, billing address, and credit card information in one secure place. The idea is to have only one "e-wallet," so that a user can make purchases across a variety of Web sites without having to reenter a bunch of information (see: sticky content).

It is interesting to note that when a technology or concept such as this emerges, the companies involved (and there are many) must adopt a standard to which they all will conform (otherwise, the technology may not gain acceptance). The emerging standard for this technology is ECML but overall, PayPal continues to dominate the online payment industry, however Google Wallet is taking advantage of the cloud.

The perceived next-generation of a cashless mobile payment system is the 2G card equipped with a microprocessor allowing users to redeem their accumulated rewards points and potentially get their purchase for "free" anytime they swipe. But in fact, mobile payment apps have become popular. Instead of the card, which looks like an actual credit card but it's designed with buttons, lights, and digital read-outs, the mobile payment apps reside on your smartphone. These high-tech programs have privacy advocates concerned about the additional identity theft opportunities of carrying around so much digital information.

Historical perspective: In August 2012, Google announced a version of its mobile payments app Google Wallet that allows users to load any major U.S. credit or debit card to your smartphone. It's cloud-based, meaning it's all stored online, just like Amazon and other shopping sites store your credit card data. In that same month, Starbucks became the first national chain to allow customers to pay for their purchases with the mobile-payments app Square.

In 2010, we heard from The Boston Globe that anyone who has ever overdrawn a bank account could soon be in the market for a product being developed at MIT's Media Lab. Called the "proverbial wallet," it literally becomes more difficult to open as its owner's bank account runs low on money. The "magnetized" wallet uses embedded technology to connect to the owner's bank account via Bluetooth.

NetLingo Classification: Online Business

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