Not all technology proves to be quicker or better. There are many aps out there and there is even one for loyalty cards. However, by the time a pin is entered to use a smart phone, the app is accessed and your Nectar card barcode is swiped, it would be quicker to whip out your card and swipe it, especially if the shop scanner struggles to read the image on your phone and the checkout operator has to manually enter your barcode.
There are some apps out there that are worth trying from a security point of view…

Google Wallet

Google have produced a smarter electronic wallet. The newest version of the Google Wallet app supports all credit and debit cards. In the future you won’t need to carry your cards; all you will need is your phone or computer. This app is designed to help you shop faster, smarter and safer in a store or online.

Tap your phone to an NFC terminal at the checkout, as you would with your credit/debit card for small purchases, and use any credit or debit card you want with your Google Wallet app. Your phone sends payment info to the terminal. Google Offers from participating merchants are redeemed automatically. There are now hundreds of thousands of NFC-enabled retailers across the country.

Google Wallet claims to be more secure than your actual wallet. Your credit card information is not stored on your phone’s operating system but on a hardware chip, which is not easy to break into. This allows plenty of time to act if your phone is stolen. Making sure that your phone, cards and Google Wallet account are pin protected will guard against a stolen phone being used for purchases as you need to use your PIN for every transaction. Should your phone be lost or stolen, you can remotely disable your Google Wallet Account online.
In the future, this form of payment could reduce waiting at checkouts as an NFC reader could be available independent from the checkout.

Google Shopper App

Google Shopper helps to find information on a wide range of products. It recognizes products by cover, barcode, voice and text search. It provides local and online prices, reviews, specifications, videos etc to help you make a more informed decision. With one click you can save items to your shopping list and share with your friends. You can download Google Shopper from the App Store for free.

The Google Shopper app has had some teething problems; however it has been improved with larger images of products, a new category result page displaying the most popular products, improvements to search locale detection, and performance.

Google Wallet, Google Offers and Google Shopper App are worth trying. Over the past few decades, the way we shop has changed dramatically. I wonder what else the future holds?