From designer Fredrik Palmblad comes the Digital Wallet, a USB answer to the worn leather card-carriers we cling to.
Digital money is the new black. More importantly, it’s the new way to stay in the black, and connected to the up-to-date world of online transactions. The trouble most people encounter comes when they are
1) out of cash, and
2) the debit and credit card connections at their favorite restaurant/retailer/erotic cakes provider goes all squirrely and they are left without a way to pay.
Fredrik Palmblad thinks he has the answer, and he thinks that answer is his less-than-palm-sized USB wallet. This wallet would carry a digital balance, presumably downloaded at a bank machine or from a home computer. It could then be used at USB terminals at retail locations without the need for an Internet connection. “Money” would simply be transferred from the USB wallet to the store to be uploaded to bank servers at a later time.
The wallet would also come with the capability to display the current balance stored via an LED screen, and could also plug into other wallets so that a person-to-person money transfer could be completed. The USB wallet would feature a way to select the amount of money for transfer, and could easily transfer it without the need for handling cash.
The Digital Wallet Transfer: Neato!
Great concept but massive potential flaws with this one.
The first is of course personal security – presumably the wallet would need a code of some kind to be activated, but there would be big business in causing the wallet to display a stored value far higher that what was legitimately received from the bank – in effect “creating” money.
Second are the problems associated with these kinds of transactions at a retailer. Effectively, they would function as cash – there would be no Internet connection checking to ensure that the money actually existed in a person’s account, only the information provided by the wallet. Should a fraudulent transaction occur, recording and reporting results to both police agencies and banks could prove problematic.
Speaking of banks, they would probably not be keen on losing a large chunk of their fee structure to this new device, and might choose not to re-fit their bank machines to read this bold new wallet choice.
Still, this certainly pushes the edges of how we define money and how we use cash, both of which are going to be called into question as the digital age takes full hold of the financial industry.
Welcome to the petty crime of the future.
Source: Industrial Design Served