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Re: Will Not Happen (was: bearer = anonymous = freedom to contract)
At 12:36 PM 2/16/99 -0500, Harry S. Hawk wrote:
>The real and only issue, beyond any scientifically hard problems, is
>market demand. There is none. Furthermore, there is unlikely to be any
>mass market for such a technology. The only thing that could develop
>it is appropriately crafted marketing communication program/campaign.
There's apparently a lot of use of cash smartcards in Asia and Europe,
and the prepaid telephone card business has developed in the US
to an extent far beyond anything I'd expect, apparently among
people whose credit rating is low, or who share telephones.
And supermarkets have almost all started accepting ATM cards.
Mondex had enough promotional resources that they probably could have
created enough demand by marketing and created enough merchant support.
The two supposed big advantages of this system are convenience and
lack of book entry. Wells Fargo was running a trial here in San Francisco,
and there was a big Wells Fargo branch and a Starbucks' Coffee that
would accept Mondex within two blocks of my office. Cool.
So I walked into the bank with the big Mondex signs on the window,
expecting to hand them some dead presidents and get a $20 Mondex card.
Nope. They pointed to the desk over there, where you fill out a form,
call a number on the phone, and they'll mail you a card.
No convenience, and plenty of book entry. Not worth it.
Bill Stewart, firstname.lastname@example.org
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