[Dave Birch] Just a heads up for everyone. The 10th annual Digital Money Forum sponsored by Visa Europe with support from our media partners will be held at the Tower of London on March 28th and 29th 2007. We’re going to have a series of panels looking back over the last decade and forward to the next one and we’ll have old friends as well as new to discuss and debate the leading edge of retail electronic payments. There’s also going to be a charity Electronic Monopoly™ tournament. As always, it’s going to be limited to 100 delegates, so book early to avoid disappointment.

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When King Alfred re-founded London in 886, it was the home of one of about 30 mints in England. By the time of Ethlered II (978-1016) there were more than 70 mints in towns across England, including Guildford. The earliest known Guildford coin was struck by the moneyer Aelfweard in the reign of Edward the Martyr (975-979), the last by Seric under William II (1087-1100). The London moneyers moved all their mints to the Tower of London in the thirteenth century and the London mint obtained the royal monopoly in the sixteenth century. In 1811 the mint moved out of the Tower to a new factory on Tower Hill and then in 1967 to the current site in Wales. Next March the Tower of London will be the site of discussion and debate about the future of retail electronic payments less than six months before the roll-out of contactless payment cards across the U.K. Do mobile phones and NFC mean that the end of cash as we know it is on the horizon?.

We’re still finalising the sponsorship — thanks again to Visa Europe for getting behind us — and the detailed agenda, but at the moment we are looking at the following four sessions…

The Big Picture. Presentations and panels looking at the state of digital money around the world. What’s going on in banking, retail, transport, telecoms, sports and other sectors that can inform the debate? And what are the key lessons learned so far from operational e-payments using EMV, mass transit purses other schemes.

Disruptive Technology. A decade ago it was smart cards. Today it is contactless chips, mobile phones and especially near-field communications (NFC). Technology is once again going to reshape retail electronic payments: but will new people make money in the same ways, or will the same people make money in new ways?

Next Decade. Presentations and panels, including speakers from previous Forums, discussing the next ten years’ of digital money evolution and taking another look at the issue of cashlessness. Are technologies such as NFC bringing us closer to a cashless society? Is the next wave learning from the last wave?

Anniversary Celebration. As it is the tenth Forum, the final session will be given over to an electronic banking Monopoly™ tournament for charity and a guided tour of the Tower.

The goal of the Forum is to encourage discussion and debate around the real issues at the heart of electronic money in all its forms. As always, the Forum will be limited to 100 people to foster interaction and the exchange of ideas. In 2006, organisations represented at the Forum included Barclays, Tesco, Visa, MasterCard, Peppercoin, Amex, Vodafone, PayPal, ACI, Luup, First Data, LastMinute.com and many others. Look forward to seeing you at the Tower!

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]

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