The retail point-of-sale thrives on one nutrient -- speed. Any element that can increase the velocity of a transaction -- and thus the amount of overall sales revenue -- is a worthy catalyst. Cash may be king in many aspects of financial life, but it rules nothing at the cash register itself; the unfolding of bills and the fumbling of coinage are nothing but frivolous frictions that must be eliminated.
Convenience chain 7-Eleven
The big criticism that JPMorgan Chase no doubt expects comes on the security front; the company says it has systems in place to prevent theft of information. As far as I am concerned, this is the direction that point-of-sale transactions are heading -- i.e., cashless and frictionless. And while I agree that security concerns are paramount considerations, there is nothing that will stop the cashless society from arriving. People want speed in their lives, and they will always be willing to accept a little risk if they can pack more activities into their already tight daily schedules. Also consider that people have been using cards of this kind at gas pumps for several years now, so we've already seen some acceptance. Of course, easier payment processing will lead to higher usage of credit cards. All Fools should be wary of the coming of the cashless society, for it could bring with it temptations that will lead to big debt levels.
It's clear that JPMorgan Chase is onto something transformational here, but it is not alone. American Express
Further Foolish reading:
- RFID: The Billion-Dollar Savings Plan
- Beauty Secrets of Credit Score Stars
- How to Owe $40,000 by Doing Nothing
- Wendy's Success With Credit
What do you think of blink cards? Do you think they pose security risks? Let us know at the JPMorgan Chase discussion board .