The advent of technology has indeed brought us forward by leaps and bounds. I am tackling the payment systems.
Before we were used to pay with our credit cards. They swipe it in a terminal, wait for the confirmation code, print, and ask us to sign. We thought this was hi-tech already for its time.
Then came the Octopus card of Hong Kong, which looks like a credit card, but does not function like one. You do not need to sign anything. What you do is choose what you would like to buy, the cashier punches your order/items, then you tap in a terminal, and that’s it. Instantaneous. It is a reloadable cash card, which can be used for mass transport such as buses, trams, ferry, and the MTR. It is also accepted as a payment option for McDonalds, Wellcome Supermarket, Watsons, Park & Shop, etc. The only disadvantage is when you lose this card, it will remain lost, as there is usually no identifying marks or identification on the card itself to prove that it is yours. Unless you have it personalized. But cashier seldom check the legality of the card holder.
Then came the “swipe less” or “pay wave” credit card. This is still a credit card, and can still be used as a normal one, wherein you swipe it and get the confirmation code. But it can also be used almost similar to the Octopus Card System, wherein you just need to “tap” or “wave” your card in front of a reader and the charges will be debited to your credit card.
Now the more modern payment options are as follows. In countries such as Japan, all you need to do is “wave” or “tap” your mobile phone to a reader, and the reader confirms your account, and the charges will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Other countries are adopting such method such as U. S. A., wherein Visa International and Master Card International are developing such technologies, wherein your smart phone can store your credit card details, and all you need to do is let a machine or device read the “bar code” or “QR code” from your phone, and the charges will be billed to your credit card.
It was even touted that there would come a time, when we “humans” will be implanted with a microchip, that can be read by a scanner or a machine, and it would instantly know our medical backgrounds, such as our illnesses, medicines being taken, allergies, etc. It can also store your social security ID, your driver license details, your home address detail, your business details, your work details, etc. And it can definitely store your credit scores, credit background, and credit card details as well. So in the near future, all you need to bring is yourself. Just go to a supermarket, choose what you need, proceed to the payment counter, and get your goods.