This is a guest blog entry from Karin Gerber.
Wow, talk about the digital age. It’s amazing to think how we are able to record television shows right from our smartphones, but nowadays if you own a smartphone, you don’t even need to carry your wallet, either.
Turns out, there is a very cool application out there that can store my discount, club, business, and membership cards, all on my smartphone. The application is called Key Ring and is currently available to the iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7.
Scan in your cards’ bar codes, or type in the UPC numbers if the card is too weathered. Key Ring lists and quick-sorts your cards, which show up in a big way on your screen. You can also see coupons and discounts found for the store you’re pulling up from another tab. (via Lifehacker.com)
And if you’re holding on to PINs or passwords in your wallet, one possibility to fix this is by switching over to using secure apps on your phone to store them instead. One application that can save your passwords and PINs is a password managing product called LastPass. LastPass may require a premium subscription for mobile service, but I believe it comes to $12 per year.
With LastPass, you create one Master Password, eliminating the need to ever remember another username or password. LastPass makes it easier to have unique login data for each of your online accounts without the hassle of remembering them or recovering them when you forget… LastPass secures your data by encrypting it locally on your personal computer or mobile device. Only your LastPass Master Password can unlock your data and only you have it. (via LastPass)
If you’re not too swift on the idea of moving into LastPass’ product system, there are also rather good stand-alone mobile apps available to use. One is called Wallet for Android. This app allows you to safely store your sensitive data on your Android by encrypting it for your protection.
When you use Wallet, your data is encrypted using the industry standard AES-256. Only you will be able to access your data via a master password. Even if you lose your phone your data will still be safe. For extra security, Wallet doesn’t store your master password locally on the device, but rather as a SHA-512 hash. In addition, Wallet self-locks after a timeout period and clears the clipboard to ensure your data is protected. (via Wallet for Android)
iPhone also offers a Wallet application very similar to the Android app. It, too, offers a great way to securely store your important, personal information.
Now granted, you’ll still need to carry some cash on you and maybe a credit card, but the bulk of your wallet can still be left at home. You can even make payments right from your smartphone utilizing PayPal’s mobile app, and if you want to buy coffee at Starbucks, you can use their smartphone application to do that, too (see WindowsObserver.com article “Buying Coffee? Pay With Your Smartphone”).
Evernote is another handy application that’s used to snag pictures of your receipts and then synch them to your computer or online at Evernote’s website.
It can even use Onscreen Character Recognition (OCR) technology to make text within the receipt searchable. (via Evernote)
It’s amazing to think how far we’ve come along in the digital age. I may not be running to put my wallet away for good this instant, but I like having the option of thinning it out a bit.