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« Cold, hard cash | Main | More on contactless UK »

Chatting for dollars

By davebirch posted Feb 9 2007 at 8:05 AM
[Dave Birch] When Ian Grigg was talking about Skype on his always thought-provoking Financial Cryptography site it rang a few bells with me. He says (and I agree entirely) that the big picture is that integrated chat and payments will be immense. As he puts it, if not the next killer application (more on this in a moment), certainly the next killer integration. Skype isn't yet making the kind of money necessary to justify its price tag and few of the oft-hyped "synergies" have materialized, but the further integration of Skype and PayPal could boost the latter's transfer volume. It isn't hard to see how the integration will succeed -- let's see, "send file", nope, "send money", ok here's the $20 I owe you -- which is why Skype was always going to integrate well with PayPal to make it easy for Skype users to pay anyone on their contact list. Soon.

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But who cares about the web? The future, as the saying goes, is already here but unevenly distributed. Globe Telecom in the Phillipines, has launched the IMEVRYWHR service that integrates text and instant messaging with its G-Cash digital money service. As far as I can see, this is where Skype + PayPal is going to end up isn't it? I mean, who cares about Skype and Paypal on PCs when you have them on mobile phones. And when you can PayPal between two phones by touching them together...

Some people see person-to-person e-payments (let's call the concept "e-cash" for short) as a more credible candidate for ‘killer’ application for mobile phone users than TV, music or even Internet access because these appeal to segments whereas e-cash is universal. Dick Clark from Consult Hyperion will be talking on this topic at New Payments Channels in London in a couple of week's time.

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


Its already here. The 800-lb gorilla in the integration of chat and payments is Tencent Holdings QQ service in China. Q-coins are very popular for both value-added services online and are being linked to real world payments (debit and credit cards). Tencent hasn't had much visibility outside of China, for some strange reason, but QQ is completely dominant in chat and voice (about 80 percent of online users in China use the service). (I've written a number of times about QQ, if you want additional information)

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