By Jeff Connors
President & CEO
July 8, 2014
“Why American Express Wants to kill Credit Cards”—a recent article by Marcus Wohlsen in the June 5, 2014 issue of Wired Magazine caught our attention. The article goes on to say that a black card or a gold card won’t mean any more than a purple card, because you won’t have a card at all. Even American Express believes the plastic in our wallets eventually will go away.
At a recent event, hosted by Andreessen-Horowitz, on the future of retail, Leslie Berlind at American Express pointed out that there are two things you always have with you: a credit card and a smartphone. The day is coming when we combine them. “What we are hyper-focused on is how we merge those two things,” she says. “Especially as one day the physical card will disappear.”
Well, we don’t fully agree but rather believe that over time it will occur with gradual adoption more likely. It’s hard to give up your wallet right now, but Amex is directionally correct. Women have pocketbooks to carry many things and might do both. Not so with men.
Mobile “wallets” will have to incentivize consumers with added features and benefits in order to gain traction. Consumers want broader functionality than a single purpose “wallet” like the Square model for Starbucks.
Net-net we believe there will be a holistic approach to engaging consumers and their loyalty.
What do you think? Take a look at the piece and give us your thoughts.