Digital Workflow: Pocket Carry Edition

The other day, I wrote about my digital workflow and scanning and then I saw an article about putting ATM cards on our smartphones. This isn’t just pie in the sky. JPMorgan Chase already has a pilot program in four cities and Bank of America and Wells Fargo plan to introduce it to all their ATMs by the end of the year.

After reading the article, I realized that, at least for me, the point of having a digital workflow is to simplify my life. Having my ATM card on my iPhone is a great example of this. It’s one less card I have to carry around and usually not have when I need it.

Why wouldn’t I have it? Because I’m trying to simplify my life and that means, among other things, carrying around as little as possible. Here, for example, is my wallet. I usually carry a bit of cash, my drivers license, a credit card, and my insurance card. Instead of a fat, overstuffed wallet bulging in my back pocket, I carry a small lightweight wallet in my front pocket. It’s more secure and doesn’t cause back problems.

What else can we do to reduce our everyday pocket carry? One thing is to get rid of all those keys. I carry a house key and a mailbox key. Really, what else do you use regularly? I’m looking into a keyless entry solution for the house, which would mean I could stop carrying keys except for when I drive. In the U.S., at least, some states are replacing drivers licenses with a smart phone app. If that happens here in Florida and Apple Pay becomes a bit more ubiquitous, I could stop carrying a wallet at all.

Again, none of this is pie in the sky. These things are already happening and will probably be common in a very few years. The end state for me is that I would carry only my smart phone and it would replace all that other junk I’m carrying around now.

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  • NoonianAtall

    More options is nice, but I don't want to put everything in my phone. It seems like every day, smartphones become less dependable as the software becomes more complex and constantly churn. What if my phone's battery is dead because a bug in Google Play Services was automatically pushed out last night and has kept my phone awake in my pocket all morning? This happens every couple of months on my phone. What if I drop my phone and it breaks? I could drive my car over my wallet, and all of the cards would still work fine. What if a stupid bug in a new version of an app causes the ID/ATM/etc functionality to fail or crash? ATM cards don't update themselves and then crash on launch. And then there's the matter of theft. While an ATM card isn't usable without the PIN, a smartphone is valuable in and of itself and is always a target for theft.

    The more functionality is moved into "smart"phones, the more fragile everything becomes.