The Evolving Role of Wallets and Paper Receipts

In a recent article written by industry expert, Richard Buckle, he talks about the continued relevance of cash and paper receipts in our increasingly digital world. CLICK HERE to read the full article, while we post highlights that have the most relevance for our ATM paper customers.

For emergencies, entertainment and as a backup, cash continues to be hard to beat. And yet, the shape of my wallet has changed noticeably. Perhaps the biggest contribution to the sagging, somewhat distorted appearance of my wallet was the number of paper receipts I was collecting each day. In a society that decries the unnecessary use of paper, what is going on here?

Well … I use credit cards when traveling, but I still need to collect receipts as they remind me of what I purchased and provide a backup should my friendly payments solution somehow lose the records.

And this makes me think of what future virtual wallets might look like. If we eliminate everything we carry in our wallets today and rely solely on our smartphones, where’s the backup? Even with all the hype and promotion of the past decade (and longer), there’s still no compelling argument to leave our wallets at home and transact business from our smartphones.

As with many technologies, the success of virtual wallets, virtual currencies, virtual banks and the cross-channel integration of loyalty programs depends on their becoming an all-in solution. Everyone must participate, from individuals to retailers to service providers to infrastructure — even to the shoeshine provider and the person who does the final toweling-down of my vehicle at the car wash.

Without this buy-in, we’ll have to leave home with both our smartphone and our physical wallet, duplication that I am already doing anyway, as I am acutely aware.

We all like to think that we are making progress, and those of us close to the retail banking sector like to think that FIs are right in there leading the change.

However, my overstuffed wallet bulging with paper receipts and stacked with more plastic than I thought I would ever need is so much a part of me that as I leave the front door, my left hand always checks that it’s in my left pocket — even as my right hand checks to be sure that my smartphone is in the other pocket.

Could I be comfortable having no wallet? Having no cash? Having to depend that every place I visit and every transaction I initiate will have the supporting technology up and running and secure?

It may simply be a generational thing, but for the time being, I am happy with the shape my wallet is in. And from where I stand, so are a huge number of my fellow Americans!

As we’ve reported before in previous articles regarding the relevance of thermal paper, ATM receipt paper will continue to play an important role in monetary transactions for a while to come. Feel free to contact us to discuss your thermal paper needs, or to receive a free quote.