[Dave Birch] Well, I’m in the process of putting together the agenda for next year’s 12th annual Digital Money Forum which will be held at the Guoman Hotel (the same venue as last year — the hotel above Charing Cross Station which we liked so much that we’re going back) on 31st March and 1st April 2009. Fortunately, as payments seems to be the only part of the banking business that is bringing in any money, we’ve already had a few people say that they’re looking forward to coming along and we already have sponsors who have committed to support us. This will all be announced properly next week. Meanwhile… As you know, over the years the Forum has built up a reputation as the place to go to discuss the future of retail electronic payments with people who are a little ahead of the curve and the delegates appreciate that we always try to move the agenda on to reflect the shifting leading edge of thinking on the future of money. I’ve already got a few ideas for key themes, but would appreciate some help from Digital Money Denizens before finalising the agenda, as I’ve been sidetracked by the recent nationalisation of the banking industry, imploding world economy and impending recession.

Inspired by a discussion about what might replace Federal Reserve notes as the circulating medium of exchange in a post-financial crisis America…

I’ve been wondering what could be the equivalent in the U.S. should the dollar currency lose its value. The obvious took some time to come to my mind, probably because I’m not a big user of it myself: gasoline.

[From Guillaume’s blog » Blog Archive » Gasoline as money]

…I’ve come up with a few ideas for the 2009 agenda. So far, for the key sessions, I was thinking about topics that will be central to the sector next year…

Cigarettes as a Reserve Currency — Marlboro Light Touch Regulation

Barter Markets based on Vegetables — The Swede Miracle

Mattresses as Non-Bank Stores of Value — The Princess and the 1p

We Are All North Koreans Now — From Branchless Banking to Bankless Banking

For the discussion panels, what about…

The Workers Control the Means of Non-Production

EMV Migration in Iceland — Cod instead of Chips

The U.S. Payments Scene — Buddy can you spare $700 billion?

Money Management Tips from Zimbabwe

…and of course that old favourite of central banks everywhere…

The Fascist Nature of Monopoly Capitalism Makes Revolution and the Dictatorship of the Industrial Proletariat a Historical Inevitability.

Look forward to hearing your suggestions.

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


  1. Dave, I really hope none of these subjects will be relevant in 2009, including the one I reported on in my post on gasoline…
    On a more serious note, a subject I’d like to suggest is how marketing programs and loyalty cards can be leveraged to accelerate the adoption of contactless payments.

  2. Thanks for the excellent suggestion Guillame. I don’t know if you heard the podcast I made with Vivotech on this subject, but driving contactless adoption is definitely going to be important next year.

  3. Dave,
    What about the potential impact of faster payments as a potential catalyst for mobile phone based P2P payments in Europe?
    Also I think you might want to look at how pre-pay airtime is increasingly being used as an informal currency both domestically and for international transfers.
    Also the use of the mobile phone to deliver the “last mile” of financial services across the developing world using cash handling agents equipped with secure apps on mobile phones.
    [Dave Birch] Thanks Simon.

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