Why a phone will be all you’ll need to shop by 2016.

It wasn’t so long ago that people stood at supermarket checkouts writing personal cheques. With the introduction of chip and pin card payments, this soon began to look positively Victorian. The smart plastic was also a major leap in opening up the online marketplace by making payment easier. But now even this might soon be a thing of the past – at least according to eCommerce payment giants, Paypal.

By 2016, all you’ll need to have in your pocket or purse is your mobile phone – that will be the future according to Paypal. Whether online or on the high street, all transactions will be able to be performed digitally via a smart phone. So the forward-thinking website design company will need to take this onboard when considering eCommerce website design for mobile web browsers and panning future payment strategies for clients. Soon the only difference between shopping on the web and shopping on the street will be your physical presence.

Imagine shopping in a store, seeing product you like and rather than queuing at the checkout, just buying it there and then online – even having it delivered to save you carrying it. We assume it will also generate a digital receipt to show to the security guard – but that will be the job of professional web developers.

It’s already happening. In May 2011, Barclays and Orange launched their Quick Tap mobile service in more than 50,000 shops for purchases of £15 or less. Then in June, Pizza Express rolled out an eCommerce iPhone app that allows customers to pay for meals via PayPal.

As well as paying for goods without having to queue, shoppers can also look forward to being able to carry digital loyalty cards, promotional offers and receipts on their phones – keeping everything in one place to create a virtual eCommerce shopping hub.

Paypal Managing Director, Carl Scheible predicts, “2016 will mark the real start of money’s digital switchover in the UK. We’re not saying cash will disappear entirely, but we’ll increasingly use our phones and other devices rather than our wallets to pay in-store as well as online. The lines between the online world and High Street will soon disappear altogether. Children born today will become the UK’s first ‘cashless generation’. It will be completely natural for them to pay by mobile”.

So the phrase “I can’t buy a round – I’ve left my phone at home” will soon become commonplace.