The fortune tellers at Pew Research are saying that smartphones or tablets will replace cash and credit cards within ten years.
Apparently Pew has made this conclusion by asking "technology stakeholders and critics" or as we say in the trade, other analysts.
According to SMH, 65 percent of those polled agreed that handheld gadgets would be a mainstream way to pay by the year 2020.
Google chief economist Hal Varian, when told about the poll, said that the 2020 date might be a bit optimistic, but was sure that this will happen.
Of course if it does not happen by 2020, no one is going to hand Pew, or anyone surveyed with a copy of this article and say "ah ha! You got it wrong." The prediction will be made so far in the past that it will have been forgotten by then. We could say that the world will be eaten by badgers by 2040 never have to risk being called out on it.
Those asked thought that security and convenience would be among the factors prompting people to shift to using smartphones or tablets as de facto credit cards or cash.
While the technology is already there, Pew thought it would take a while for cash or credit cards to disappear.
It cited concerns about the technology, resistance by incumbent providers and the slow way that society changes.
It also ignores the fact that people in the US will be worried that somehow their phone is the mark of the beast.