Sunday, December 11, 2005

Like I Don't Carry My Cell Phone

All the time. What a great idea! And it would make my life so much more convenient, which is why we probably won't get it before 2010.
Japan Puts Its Money on E-Cash: "The e-cash service exploded after DoCoMo added electronic money transmitters to its latest-generation cell phone last year, creating what has been dubbed a mobile wallet.

'If I need to buy something quickly, I just grab my cell phone and run out the door,' said Mihoko Iguchi, 43, a dress shop owner who was using a bright orange cell phone to buy a fashion magazine at a convenience store. 'I don't have to sift around for coins and I can buy all sorts of different things.'

Most electronic money purchases are for less than $10, according to statistics. That amount is expected to increase, particularly after DoCoMo begins extending credits on phones and smart cards next month, doing away with the need to constantly replenish e-cash.

Electronic money is helping urban dwellers save on another precious commodity -- time. One study by the Japanese convenience store chain AM/PM indicated that shoppers using e-cash completed their purchases 10 percent faster than those using real cash. The time savings was greater when customers were buying more than one item, and greater yet when compared with those paying by credit card.

'During the lunchtime rush, we often have long lineups of 10 people or more,' said Yoshihisa Okuma, AM/PM's head of strategic planning. 'But we've been able to significantly reduce waiting times by using electronic money.'"
Our waiting time is likely to be several years if history is any kind of indicator.

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