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Future Thinking

Why the wallet-free world is closer than you think

In the near future, we could be paying for everything – from a movie ticket to our morning coffee – with phones and apps, if plans by PayPal are successful.

Imagine a world where you could leave home without a wallet – and still spend money. You would be able to go shopping, catch a movie or grab something to eat; but fumbling for your credit card or paper money would be a distant memory.

Mobile technology already exists to allow payments direct from a digital wallet, but the wallet-free lifestyle has still to be realised.

But PayPal, the internet payment service tied into internet auction giant eBay, thinks shopping without a wallet is nearer than people might think. BBC Future spoke to Paypal’s vice-president of global products, Hill Ferguson about the company’s plan to make money digital.

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