[Dave Birch] Even in the Magic Kingdom. This sort of thing would never happen in an advanced nation, where consumers can use their mobile phones if they want to pay for something. So is Japan a special case, or a window to the wireless world. More evidence for the latter is accumulating. (Incidentally, I'm reliably assured that yesterday's press release from NTT DoCoMo says that their DCMX "credit card" now has more than 1 million users only six months after launch).
Cash is under pressure again on this side of the pond and it's parking that's the driver (yuk yuk). Lem Bingley notes that parking meters in Great Pulteney Street are adorned with stickers, informing motorists that they will shortly no longer be able to pay with cash. Since early October it's been possible to park and pay by phone, as part of an experiment being run by Westminster Council. It's obviously working, since they're taking away the cash alternative. Hardly surprising since the council loses 20K pounds every week to meter thieves. Presumably, using coins in meters will soon be considered some form of entrapment or a deviant behaviour that endangers council workers as much as it appears to endanger parking attendants in theme parks. Digital money won't triumph over cash because of some grand vision from technologists such as me, but because of Health & Safety.