Tomorrow's Transactions blog
Archive for 12/2010
[Dave Birch] The European Commission appears to be returning fire in the war on cash and the Dutch retailers are the first to be attacked! I do hope I haven’t started something.
[Dave Birch] The Dutch supermarkets have formed some sort of working group with the target of introducing some cashless stores in 2014 (although some of the stores may retain a single cash-accepting terminal for legacy customers). In November, some shops in Amsterdam became cash free, with POS terminals subsidised by the city government. The town of Almere wants to be the first cahs-free town in Europe. Will we be going Dutch anytime soon?
According to a presentation from the Bundesbank that I saw at the EFMA “Future of Cash” conference, only 10-15% of the German euro banknotes that have been issued are used for transactions: the overwhelming majority of the issue is used for hoarding, much of it outside the eurozone. In Norway, a study by the central bank found that only 30% of their banknotes were used for transactions. The purpose of cash is no longer to support commerce.
[Dave Birch] The Internet of things is inevitably going to collide with social networking. We’re involved in a Technology Strategy Board (TSB) project that is investigating this by linking mobile phone location information to Facebook—and already producing some interesting results, but I won’t spoil it by discussing them here, you’ll have to wait for the report—but these are baby steps.
[Dave Birch] Look, we all know that it isn’t smart cards, cheque books, SEPA, EFT, FPS or ACH that will get rid of cash.
And clearly the facts do now prove beyond any doubt, that mobile will not cannibalize parts of cash, mobile will kill cash in some industries
Indeed it will. In some parts of the world, such as Africa, we can not only see this happening, we can see some of the unexpected consequences of it happening.
Wikileaks is going to force the debate about anonymity and the Internet. Pretty soon, as many have anticipated, there’s going to be a blue internet and a red internet, an authenticated internet with a digital identity infrastructure and a barbarian (alluding to the original sense of the word) internet.
[Dave Birch] NFC has been back in the news—well, the sort of news that I read—again over the last few weeks, but this time with an interesting twist. The cause of the media interest is, as is so often the case, speculation about Apple. Here was the nub of the issue.
Apple are tipped to be attempting to further marginalize their carrier partners by using a new pre-programmed SIM card for the iPhone.
What does this mean, and why is it such a big deal?
[Dave Birch] Having said that I couldn’t see any circumstances in which I’d use a contactless card at my dry cleaners, I just did.
I went in with some dry cleaning which came to £11 or so. I took out my MasterCard and put it in the terminal, punched in my PIN and then waited a while for it to dial up and authorise. While this was going on, I noticed that the terminal was a new Ingenico i-series terminal with contactless interface. So, as an experiment, I bought £7 of shoe polish: the chap keyed in the transaction and sure enough the contactless interface lit up: I paid with my Visa contactless card which, since it was offline DDA, was instant. Excellent.
[Dave Birch] The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has been talking about the next major revolution to come in London transit ticketing.
Public transport travellers will be able to swipe credit or debit cards in the same way as Oyster cards by 2012, Boris Johnson revealed. The Mayor said the phased scheme will start on buses in the run-up to the Olympics and then move on to the Tube. Prices will be the same as with Oyster. Mr Johnson has also pledged that a “next generation” Oyster card will be released by 2014.
What this all means is that visitors to London—and, indeed, Londoners—will no longer need to get prepaid Oyster cards. They will be able to use their bank cards (such as, for example, the one of the ten million cards that Barclays has already issued with contactless interfaces) to tap-and-go their way around town.
[Dave Birch] Who are you? That’s an easy question to answer in cyberspace, because no-one knows you’re a dog, so you can be anyone you want to be. This means that you can do bad things, doesn’t it? Surely it would be better to make people disclose their “real” identities online.
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