How many loyalty cards do you have in your wallet? The average American household has nearly 30 loyalty cards from gyms, pharmacies and supermarkets taking up space in their wallets. For many, proudly displaying their memberships with each opening of their pocketbook lends a feeling of prestige. But that could soon be over.

Samsung announced this week that it's launching support for loyalty and membership cards in its popular Samsung Pay app.

Samsung first teased the new capabilities at a developer conference in San Francisco last month, according to CNET. That's when it added support for transit systems like San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, and the New York City Subway.

This week's announcement falls short of last month's teaser. According to CNET, Samsung developers said that American users of Samsung Pay would soon be able to make ATMs withdrawals with the app, which would have made it one of the first cardless ATM withdrawal options in the US.

Currently, only users in South Korea, Samsung's homebase, can make cardless withdrawals from ATMs using the Samsung Pay app, but that feature should hit the shores of the United States shortly.

Could Samsung Pay's support for loyalty cards be a gamechanger in the relentless digital wallet wars?

Apple Pay and Google Wallet already let you swap a stack of credit and debit cards for your phone, but Samsung Pay is the first digital wallet app to add support for loyalty cards. And it's about time. Loyalty cards eat up a lot of space in your wallet and on your keychain.

The average American holds fewer than 6 debit and credit cards, while according to Finexta each American household has nearly 30 loyalty, membership and gift cards. Getting around that could put Samsung Pay above the fray and encourage holdouts to start packing their digital wallets.

While certain crowds certainly find the idea of using their smartphone to pay for stuff cool or futuristic, digital wallets haven't seen widespread adoption because they haven't completely replaced your wallet.

You still need to carry around cards for gym and club memberships, supermarket and retailer loyalty cards, not to mention gift cards, and the average American household has more than 2 dozen sitting around somewhere.

Particularly with gift cards, inconvenience is costing us a lot of money. Ever stood in line at the supermarket and flip through a dozen or more bite-sized loyalty cards trying to find the right one? Or, worse yet, rifled through a stack of unorganized loyalty cards crammed into your wallet. We've all been there, and it's annoying for you, the cashier, and everybody standing behind you in line.

Now Samsung Pay users can choose their membership card, scan the barcode and switch over to their debit or credit card to pay without ever leaving the app or reaching for their wallet or keychain.

Samsung's VP of strategy and operations, Nana Murugesan, thinks that Samsung Pay's support for loyalty, membership and gift cards is the next step toward a world where physical wallets are a thing of the past.

This Samsung Pay upgrade will also let you scan and save the barcodes of coupons, so clippers don't need to carry around a folder filled with little pieces of paper.


Do you need a credit card? It pays to shop around using a credit card website like GET.com.
Image courtesy of Samsung