- Using a touch-screen, the shopper chooses from multiple designs to match the gift-giving occasion, and chooses the denomination he or she prefers.
- The shopper then types in both the recipient’s and the gift giver’s name (likely her own) into the “to” and “from” fields.
- 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.
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]