About ten years ago, MasterCard looked into using devices such as the ADS VeriChip, which is implanted under the skin. Not much has come of the idea, but the future of payments lies in consumers' hands literally. (Image: ThinkStock)
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While many merchants are trying to integrate mobile payments at the point of sale, Target is removing the point of sale from the process by letting customers make mobile purchases from its aisles. Consumers scan a product's quick-response (QR) code, and the product is immediately purchased and shipped to them. (Image: ThinkStock)
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The film Minority Report predicted many things, including debit cards that can make anonymous payments for things like black-market eyeballs. An untraceable digital payment may seem like science fiction today, but systems like Bitcoin hold that potential. (Image: Twentieth Century Fox/Dreamworks)
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Location, Location, Location
With the advent of geolocation technology, retailers are able to send coupons and special offers depending on a user's phone's location. Systems such as shopkick's also provide offers when the phone hears an audio signal indicating a consumer has entered a retail partner's store. (Image: ThinkStock)
Time is money
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Fashionably Late Payment
For those who don't want to dig out their wallets (real or mobile) to pay, Garanti Bank in Turkey partnered with MasterCard to create the Bonus Trink Watch, which uses MasterCard's contactless payment system, PayPass. Soon the day could come where any accessory could be customized to carry built-in payment capabilities. (Image: ThinkStock)
Checks and electronic payments can take days to settle but they don't need to. Companies such as Fiserv are repurposing their debit networks to provide instant access to funds from scanned checks or person-to-person payments. (Image: ThinkStock)
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Be Our Guest
Only a few restaurants have systems allowing customers to order and pay for meals at the table, and these restaurants still have servers to bring out the devices. But in the future, the server's personal touch may not be needed, as every aspect of the restaurant is controlled online. (Image: ThinkStock)
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Consumers already use PIN codes every day at the ATM and POS. More banks are issuing EMV cards and some are experimenting with NFC mobile payments which, of course, are PCI compliant. What else does the march of progress spell for payments? (Image: ThinkStock)
The Democratic nominee has not gone as far as some progressives in support of financial inclusion, but ideas such as postal banking, a government-run credit reporting system and universal bank accounts would likely gain traction under a Biden administration.
Small and midsize merchants in North America continue to struggle with the effects of COVID-19 on their bottom lines, but those who have developed an online presence and made changes to in-store payments have found the process to be a vital step.
For the 44.6 million households who rent, coming into the crisis almost 27% were already paying half or more of their monthly income on housing. That meant they had litte ability to save for an emergency, let alone a pandemic that would cause record job losses.