Friday, April 04, 2003

Digital money.. any time soon .... ?

Last week I've visited the Digital Money Forum in London, which was a very lively and interesting event. The knowledgeable audience participated in an SMS-poll on two questions (one each day).

Day one, Consult Hyperion asked the audience if they thought there would be a cashless society by 2050: they were pretty evenly split, but of those who felt that there would be a cashless society by then the majority thought that it would be driven by retailers rather than banks.

On day two, the question was whether wireless payments would be mass market in a shorter period (by 2010). In this case the audience voted 75% yes and the majority put the mobile phone operators in the driving seat. Those who voted no put the fragmented value chain way ahead of infrastructure cost as the main barrier.

Many more interesting issues were dealt with; most important was the general appreciation/understanding of the scope and impact of regulation. Some UK telco's already are viewed and treated as electronic money institutions (notably Vodafone's MPay); others are probably very soon to follow.

And for those really up to investigating the future of money: check the open money website of Michael Linton.