[Dave Birch] SK Telecom has launched a latte teleport service in South Korea. Customers using messaging or chat services can buy icons for a Starbucks caramel macchiato, cafe latte, tea latte, juice, a Haagen Dazs single bar, green tea mini cup or foods sold at convenience stores such as (according to the Korea Herald) ham sandwiches and “tinned honeyed water”. The recipient of the icon then downloads a 2D bar code on their mobile and presents it in order to claim the item. Of course, I think that messing around with 2D bar codes will give way to NFC in time but the basic idea of sending stuff from one phone to another will become an integral part of daily life. But where’s the icon for money? Surely one of the most popular teleports will be cash?

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Teleporting money from one phone to another is hardly rocket science — people do it daily from Kenya to the Phillippines — but teleporting money to a phone with a local interface that can be used in almost any merchant (which will be the case as contactless bank cards drive the deployment of contactless POS terminals) will be even better, even more convenient. But just as there’s no real reason why people would use a Starbuck’s card instead of cash, yet they still do, perhaps teleporting gift cards from one phone to another (gift cards that can be used either locally or remotely) could be a big business because of branding and other issues. It would only take a single application in the phone to manage all of the gift cards.

As an aside, one thing that I have teleported from phone to phone is beer, since our good friends at Eagle Eye Technology launched their “buy me a beer” service with Coney & Barrow a couple of years ago (we gave out some free teleported beer at the 2004 Digital Money Forum).

My opinions are my own (I think) and are presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public. [posted with ecto]

One comment

  1. Very Studious Excerpt. Thanks for letting people know the truth about how this activity has been around for centuries and how this has helped 1000’s of families in many situations.

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