[Dave Birch] There’s been a rash of announcements of new payment schemes recently, many of them centred on mobiles. I find myself reading some of these announcements and thinking “well, that sounds neat” but then saying to myself “I couldn’t see me using it”. There’s a disconnect. But some of them I could see myself using. For example, Pay By Touch have developed a Reward and Gift Card Kiosk. The Internet-enabled kiosk lets shoppers create customized store-branded and third-party gift cards with personalized “to” and “from” names and single or multiple design full-color graphics. Gift cards can be purchased and dispensed directly from the self-serve kiosk, eliminating the current requirement of purchasing gift cards at the check-out lane or customer service counter. The kiosks store an unlimited number of graphics, so multiple merchants or brands can be supported on a single kiosk. Here’s how it works:

  1. Using a touch-screen, the shopper chooses from multiple designs to match the gift-giving occasion, and chooses the denomination he or she prefers.
  2. The shopper then types in both the recipient’s and the gift giver’s name (likely her own) into the “to” and “from” fields.
  3. Using a credit card, the shopper purchases the gift card directly through the kiosk. The shopper presses “print” and a personalized, activated gift card is printed in seconds, along with a receipt.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Now that is a kiosk I could imagine using. The kids want to play World of Warcraft or whatever, so I get them a card with a WoW character on and money loaded on to it to keep them going for a while. Assuming that these are Visa or MasterCard gift cards (ie, “open” gift cards), then I’m in.

I could also imagine using this. According to Transaction Directory, Citibank is introducing a new electronic deposit service for its commercial business clients. The service, Citibank Remote Check Deposit, will allow clients to deposit checks into their bank accounts without taking them to a branch or mailing in the items. CitiBusiness clients will now be able to digitize checks from remote locations, such as their business offices, and transmit them electronically to the bank in real time. Business customers will be offered a comprehensive solution including scanning equipment with a full replacement warranty. Now scanners are cheap — and I’m sure most offices have them anyway — so the idea of simply scanning a cheque that arrives in the mail and then e-mailing the image to bank is very attractive.

But why is this just for business customers? I find it really annoying when people send me cheques: why can’t they just Paypal me for small amounts or send the money via home banking for larger amounts? When someone sends you a cheque, it’s like being set homework: you have to find your chequebook (always a hassle in our house), get a paying-in slip out of the back, fill it in, put both the cheque and the paying-in slip into your bag and hope that you remember it next time you go past a bank. Never mind the UK’s impending “2-4-6” change to the cheque clearing system, it’s time to start pricing cheques out of existence just as our Scandinavian cousins have done.

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

3 comments

  1. Dave, as far as I can tell, Citi’s Remote Check Deposit is just a branding of remote deposit capture (“RDC”) which is made possible by the Check21 legislation is the US (basically, substitute cheques have more or less the same legal standing as the original cheques – allowing banks to process, and even settle, cheques via image instead of paper). Remote deposit capture is not new at all. Some banks have in fact moved towards offering remote deposit capture to consumers in general. For example, USAA has an offering which I have written about here:
    http://paymentswatch.com/2007/06/14/remote-deposit-capture-for-consumers/
    There are some risks associated with RDC, such as duplicate deposits, and under Check21 banks have to warranty images and/or substitute cheques. My understanding is that banks rely on technology and good old “know your customer” to mitigate these risks and is probably one of the reasons that few have chosen to extend RDC to consumers in general besides corporate clients (who also usually pay higher fees!).

  2. My local Citibank just told me that you have to spend $599 for the device (cannot be offset by earnings credit) and then roughly $60 per month maintenance (CAN be offset by earnings credit). I think there also may be a per-transaction fee component.

Leave a Reply


Subscribe to our newsletter

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

By accepting the Terms, you consent to Consult Hyperion communicating with you regarding our events, reports and services through our regular newsletter. You can unsubscribe anytime through our newsletters or by emailing us.
%d bloggers like this: