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The Mobile George Costanza Wallet

The Mobile George Costanza Wallet

As any thrifty mobile-savvy individual has realized in recent months, there is serious value that can be unlocked via mobile apps.

Pretty much all major chains and big box stores (and even some family run local stores) are turning to mobile apps as a way to not only gather better data on their customers, but also reward those customers with specials, deals and savings “only available” through those apps. As this proliferation has occurred, I have been casually downloading apps to take advantage of these savings while waiting in checkout lines (praying iBeacons take off sooner rather than later). 

In a chat with a colleague I started to joke that my mobile “wallets” are going to need a wallet. Today they are grouped on my iPhone with the appropriate titled folder, “Wallet”. Counting the ones that I haven’t already deleted (and there have been a bunch), I have 14 mobile payment/wallet apps, including three big box store apps, three bank apps, two coffee chain apps, two mobile wallet apps, two grocery store apps, one PFM app, and one credit card app. And this is AFTER I deleted at least 3 other big box store apps and two loyalty card apps (though I am thinking of bringing them back after typing this out). 

My mobile device is quickly turning into a ‘George Costanza wallet’ (for those who recall the Seinfeld episode), overfilled with apps that, while valuable, are cluttering my screen and quickly becoming harder to maintain and even remember. It would be great to be able to streamline apps or make them Geo-enabled so when I enter, for example, Target, my Target Cartwheel app comes right up to the main screen of my phone, and with a simple swipe, I can access it. I’d prefer to avoid the Costanza scenario of justifying that I have a coupon for a free ‘save the tiger poster’ at participating Orlando-area Exxon station. I hope I figure something out before I turn to a purse...I mean “it’s not a purse, it’s European!”