That's the idea behind some free tools, called digital wallets, that consumers can shop with this fall. Wallets fill out online forms for you, keep track of passwords and billing data, and steer deals your way. Wallet companies plan to profit by delivering marketing messages (if you let them) and partnering with banks. MORE >>
Imagine if at the end of a lazy browse at the bookstore, clutching new hardcovers and an overflowing latte, you're handed a clipboard and told to fill out three sheets of information about yourself before you can purchase anything. There goes the impulse buy. But that's how checkout works at most e-commerce sites. And that's where about a quarter of e-shoppers lose interest. Wouldn't it be so much easier if you could swipe your Visa card and be done with it?