Cash isn't going away anytime soon, but more and more people are thinning out their wallets in favor of credit cards and even some new digital options that just might change the way we pay for things in near future. We've put together a guide on what you can do to get the most out of a more minimal wallet scenario.
There have been quite a few options that have popped up for sending money via an app, but none in our opinion have captured the ease of use of Square Cash. Using it is dead simple. Download the app to your phone (or Apple Watch), put in your card number, and you're all set. Just punch in how much you want to pay, send the money via e-mail or text, and the recipient can quickly get the funds with or without a Cash account.
They've even set up "cash tags" where you can setup an account name and have a short url (example) that takes you to a webpage where you can easily and instantly send payments. Even better, there are no fees and you won't be running to the ATM machine for that $40 in beer money you owe your friend. It really doesn't get much easier than that.
Apple Pay and Android Pay
When Apple announced the iPhone 6, one of the biggest announcements wasn't the big new screens, but that Apple was getting into mobile payments and doing so in a huge way. If you haven't used it yet, Apple Pay lets you easily store all your bank cards in one place and lets you easily pay for items wirelessly with your phone or Apple Watch at particpating retailers or even safely pay for things inside an app without having to enter all your information.
Android users looking for a similar solution now have that in Android Pay. Just like Apple's system, you can pay for items wirelessly at checkout and in-app from Android's growing list of partners. Both options support most major credit and bank cards and their rewards and benefit programs as well.
The All-in-One Smart Card
Coin made headlines when it announced its innovative all-in-one card that could store all your credit cards in just one bluetooth-enabled card. The only issue was that it would arrive at a time when banks and card issuers would have to start transitioning to "chip-and-pin" cards, a feature Coin has yet to support. That's where Plastc comes in.
Though it doesn't ship until April 2016, Plastc ($155) will not only feature chip-and-pin technology, but will also support contactless payments and the ability to store 20 cards. It also has a e-ink display that shows information like card numbers, barcodes, and it also acts as a touchscreen for unlocking the device and switching cards.
The ol' card case
There are over a billion credit cards lining the pockets of the world's consumers and it continues to be one of the most convenient ways to pay for goods worldwide. There's no exchanging currency, your cards are ready to put your bank account to work no matter where you are on the planet. That's why the card case is still a pocket essential. Enough room for your credit card, debit card, and your license, everything you need to get through your day. Parabellum's Four Card Wallet ($225) keeps everything organized in a sliver of rugged and handcrafted bison leather and there's a pocket to keep a couple of bills, just in case. You can even buy a version with its own dedicated tracker that lets you locate your wallet from up to 100 feet.