CNN: The Death of Cash
Tech giants – and startups like Square – want you to use your phone to pay for everything from gum to train rides. Here’s how they plan to achieve cash-free nirvana.
FORTUNE — Café Grumpy is the kind of hipster hangout that wouldn’t deign to trumpet itself. Tucked away on a quiet street in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, it’s easy to miss. There’s no sign out front, just a frowning face stenciled on a large shop window. And yet when I walked in for the first time, I immediately felt like one of the regulars. “Charge it to Miguel,” I told the barista after ordering a cappuccino, and charge it he did — to my phone. Not that I ever pulled my iPhone from my pocket. Seconds after the barista tapped my order on Grumpy’s minimalist register — an iPad mounted on a stylish countertop stand — my phone vibrated in my coat pocket, signaling that our transaction was complete. I couldn’t wait to check that everything had worked as promised. (It had.) For the first time ever I was tickled by the act of paying for something.