Like most of you, I almost never leave the house without my smartphone. Along with my keys and my wallet, it’s part of the trio of items I can’t get far without.

But as technology continues to evolve, my tattered little wallet – which generally doesn’t contain cash, just my ID, and some business cards – will soon be left behind.

Here are some examples of how the mobile wallet is changing what I carry and why I would find it almost impossible to turn back now.

My morning coffee

This is how I start every day, whether I’m working or not. A visit to one of the two Starbucks stores where I’m a regular.

And like more than 20% of their clientele, I pay and collect rewards using their mobile app. I’ve used it a few times to place a mobile order, but I prefer to actually chat with my barista for a few seconds each day rather than blast in and out like my hair was on fire.

I still have my original gold, plastic card in my wallet – but it is strictly the analog backup. Paying by phone is easy and fast, both for me and for them.

And Starbucks have also folded in the gamification of their rewards program for those who like instant gratification. They are a leader in the space and predict that half of their business will be mobile-driven in the next few years.

Even Tim Horton’s are trying to emulate this program now – if they can get their franchisees to play ball. Clearly, the future of these small and frequent transactions is mobile.

At the grocery store

I live within walking distance of my local grocery store, so it’s not uncommon for me to visit 3-5 times a week.

There’s an opportunity here for them to blend payment processing with their loyalty program because for the moment I still have to enter both separately.

But the other day I was using the self-serve till and paid using my watch, which drew the attention of the cashier who was monitoring the section. She called me over and asked me how I did that! My ‘inner trainer’ was happy to oblige her with a quick demo while one of her colleagues also looked on.

I guess the technology reaches the grocery store a little while after the coffee shop.

I’ve also had it happen where I leave the house in a hurry to grab something and have forgotten my wallet. Mobile payment to the rescue again as my phone managed to make it with me out the door.

Making the best of a bad situation

We’ve all gotten that call from the bank, right? The one where they let you know that your credit card has been compromised and you’ll be issued a new one.

Apple Pay

Mobile payments save the day one more time. Because the card in my wallet is canceled immediately after the fraud is discovered. So imagine my delight when the bank’s security team tells me that my replacement card number has automatically been transmitted to both my phone and my watch! I can carry on using mobile payments as if nothing happened and while my new physical card makes it’s way to me in the mail.

How great is that?!

The future

If like me, you’re using the Apple ecosystem, you can now use Apple Pay inside different apps [Etsy, Groupon, and Uber are examples] to make purchases. You can even make Apple Pay purchases on some newer Macs.

Apple pay_2
http://www.apple.com/ca/apple-pay

Competitors like Android and Samsung [who are able to use CIBC products to pay] are also making headway in the space.

More convenient and more secure than physical cards, if you’re not using mobile payments now I imagine you will be soon.