Apple is going after wallet makers with its new mobile payment system, called Apple Pay, which threatens to disrupt the whole industry. The digital wallet introduced last week allows consumers to make in-store and online payments using their phones -- effectively eliminating the need for a traditional wallet.
But billfold brands aren't shaking in their pockets just yet. After all, we carry other things in our wallets besides credit cards. "It's definitely going to have an impact, but I don't think that it's going to be a pervasive impact," said Michael Lyons, inventor at Rogue Industries, a Maine-based wallet maker. "Even if people want to carry a smartphone that has the pay capability, some people are still going to want to carry some cash or IDs or credit cards."
Digital wallets are also subject to the same fickle forces as our phones -- battery life and connectivity.
"The last thing you want to do is get somewhere, need to pay for something... and you can't because your phone isn't working," said Justin Dobbs, founder and CEO of The Wallet Shoppe, an online retailer. "I love my iPhone, but I don't know if I'd trust it completely if I needed it in a pinch."