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Summary:

If your wallet is about to explode like George Costanza’s did, take any Target Gift Cards out of it. Target now offers Mobile GiftCards with a scannable barcode right on your phone to pay for purchases.

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Is anyone else’s wallet getting chunky and unwieldy with too many cards to carry? When I put all of my credit cards, gift cards and store club cards in mine, I’m reminded of a Seinfeld episode. In it, George Costanza’s wallet was nearly as thick as a phone book and you can see below that it eventually explodes due to all of the bulk. Any time I can go digital instead of stuffing more data in my wallet, I do it. And today, Target just gave me a good reason to stop carrying their gift cards, even though I’ll still be using them.

The retailer today introduced Mobile GiftCards as a way to carry the gift card account information on any mobile phone with Internet capabilities. Using a secure PIN of your choice, you simply register Target gift cards online — you can add a nickname to any card and use the account number and access code printed on the card for registration.

Once registered, you’re able to check the balance through your phone or use the phone to pay for Target purchases in the checkout line. Each gift card appears with a scannable barcode that appears on your phone’s display — just hand the phone over to your cashier where the barcode is scanned and your purchase is paid for. Easy to use and no need to worry about exploding wallets — that’s a win-win in my book. It’s way too late for George, but not too late for you and your phone.

Related research from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Why Google’s “Favorite “Favorite Places” Will Push QR Codes Into the Mainstream

  1. mobile.fernandez Monday, February 8, 2010

    I love this. Hope this catches on. I bring my phone with me more often than my wallet…like when I go running. Awesome.

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  2. Nice Seinfeld reference. Great to see that you also like/know Seinfeld. I’m a huge fan, I’ve even written my master thesis about the show. I’ve been a regular reader of jkOnTheRun for quite a while now and I like your website a lot. Seeing that you also know about George Costanzas exploding wallet – and not just about mobile tech – makes you become even more credible to me.

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