A look at the future of retail payment technology

By: NBC News
By: NBC News

CNBC's Courtney Reagan takes a look at some of the payment possibilities when you go shopping in the future.

In 25 years, waiting in a long line to pay will only be a story you'll tell your grandchildren -- because they'll never have to do it.

Price tags with RFID technology will be commonplace, enabling retailers to constantly track inventory and allow consumers to simply put their items in a bag, walk past sensors that pick up the radio frequencies coming from your bag, and your digital wallet on your smartphone will make the payment before you've gotten to your car.

While consumers are already sporting smart bracelets that monitor athletic activity, futurists believe wearables -- from bracelets to earrings to shirt buttons -- will be widely acceptable payment vehicles in the not-too-distant future.

"I should be able to, literally by tapping my watch, purchase something and have it either delivered to my house, or walk out the door with it," Peter Rivera, Infusion VP. "What's to say that that object that you put in your pierced ear can actually be intelligent in itself and be something that actually helps you and supports you."

Biometric payment methods, like retina scans and facial recognition, are already in experimental phases, and Mastercard has already taken it a step further. They're exploring the possibility of implanting a chip into our bodies that has an antenna and a unique identification number.

A swipe of a finger would be a personal identifier and payment mechanism all in one.

Today we might call it creepy, but in 2039 we might see it as "convenient".


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