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This blog post by Dave Birch - who founded the consultancy which holds the Digital Money Forum, and liked my Money 3.0 meme enough to ask me along to present it as a scenario - is really thought provoking as to the potential for good (and of course, bad) of Mobile Money.......

Digital Money: Information rules OK

Forum friend Bob Hettinga sent me a copy of a paper on Computer-Mediated Transactions (18th January 2010) by Hal Varian of Google and I enjoyed reading it on a recent train ride. One of the points that Hal (who you may remember from the early days of cyberspace with the book "Information Rules" written by Hal and Carl Shapiro) makes is that computer-mediated transactions generate information that manual transactions do not and he suggests that using this information might be one of the key areas of competition in the future. I think this is spot on (which is why I am drawing your attention to it, obviously) and I have mentioned before about the opportunity to use payment-related information to generate additional value for customers and merchants alike.

This was echoed a couple of days later at an Evershed's "Thought Leadership Dinner" that I was invited to. Shashi Verma from Transport for London gave a very interesting after-dinner talk in which he mentioned that the use of information had not been part of the business case for migrating from cardboard tickets to Oyster cards, yet analysis of Oyster information is now a crucial process that saves literally hundreds of millions of pounds every year by directing expenditure more efficiently. Very small changes made to train timetables, for example, using the anonymised journey data from Oyster, can reduce average journey times or overcrowding in ways that simply could not have been predicted.



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Mar 17th, 2010 at 07:59:50 AM EST
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