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Transferable (phone) Credit

Allow people to send each other money.
  [vote for,

Imagine that you could transfer phone credit between your phone and another’s. The process would be more secure than giving out credit card details because it would depend on you keying in the amount you want to send.

Because phone credit is always in demand, it would be worth as much to the new owner as real money. And because it takes no space to store, it is just as valuable. It could even be sold back to the phone companies.

Because its value is measured in (in my case) pounds, it would not be a risky investment.

Large, fixed, hard to steal mobile phones (umm, well, ignore the logical contradiction) would serve as tills in shops.

If this system was implemented we might lose the need for paper money within a generation.

RobertKidney, Feb 23 2004

This company is used heavily by porn sites and bills anything to anything http://www.ibill.com
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       Is the key here to use the phone as an input device -- is it much different than paypal?
theircompetitor, Feb 23 2004

       Imagine the two of us are making a transaction. I want to pay you £2. I key in your number, (if this became common it would be easy for you to give me your number by infra red or something if we were talking face to face) then I key in the amount I want to send you. Within a few seconds you now have £2 more credit.
RobertKidney, Feb 24 2004

       I imagine the cost per transaction to the phone company would be about the same as a text message, plus any added security costs. In a few years time I wouldn't be suprised if it became as cheap as an online transaction.   

       Now since the government would have to become involved at some point to provide regulation, and since they spend a lot of money on minting coins, its remotely possible that some of that money could be used for policing this system as real money becomes less widely used.   

       I'm hardly knowledgeable about mobile phone networks but I imagine online shopping probably has a solution to lines going down during transactions that could be applied.
RobertKidney, Feb 25 2004

       When you say rechargeable via phone, do you mean anything like my idea, or do you mean that you just ring up your bank and ask them to put some more money on your smart card?
RobertKidney, Feb 25 2004

       Since cell phones have web access now, PayPal maybe a simpler way to do what you want without any telephony interface.   

       Having said that, you could bake this pretty easily by becoming the third party, as jutta points out.   

       You give your users a toll free number. they dial into it, you get the account from caller id. They touch tone destination account (phone#) and amount). You charge source credit card and pay the destination account, as paypal does. Both would have to be subscribers to your service, probably.   

       Alternatively, your new intermediary can make a deal with ibill and others that can charge phones directly.
theircompetitor, Feb 25 2004


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