Technobiography

Mobile phones, services and applications. PCs, PDAs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Internet, gadgets, electronics, photography. A technology-life journal ... Relaxed prose, sometimes witty, sometimes funny, reflective and insightful. Short and sweet. Filipino.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

G-Cash: My Accidental Friday G-mmick (Part 2 of 3)

In the previous article, I wrote about my G-Cash transactions at some Mercury, National and LBC branches.

National Bookstore staff appear to handle G-Cash transactions well. LBC, on the other hand, wasn't able to entertain my transactions due to technical and logistic problems.

In this article, I'll tell you how my G-Cash transactions went at Burger King and Globe Hub.

IV. Burger King

It was easy enough to buy an apple pie at Burger King using G-Cash. The manager didn't flinch one bit. She sent the appropriate text message, and then waited for my payment confirmation. She noted transaction details in a logbook. That will be a clerical bottle-neck if they have to do this manually for each and every G-Cash transaction.

I think I was the 4th or 5th G-Cash customer in that logbook. I bet the first few customers were Globe personnel from the neighboring Globe Hub.

V. Globe Hub

And now the juicy part, Globe Hub. I went to Globe Hub at GreenBelt III to cash-in. Surprise! Hindi pwede! The cashier's phone for G-Cash transactions was m-PIN-Blocked! Whoa! How did that happen?

They said they inadvertently entered the wrong m-PIN ... THREE times! Tsk tsk tsk. (iling). And apparently, G-Cash transactions on that phone were disabled for more than two hours already. (iling ulit, sabayan niyo ako) They've been requesting their tech people to unblock the disabled G-Cash transactions, but the request hadn't come through yet. (Iling hanggang ma-stiff-neck!)

Hergs! I better remember my m-PIN! That Globe Hub took a couple of hours to get their G-Cash transactions restored. If MY m-PIN gets blocked, how many hours or DAYs will it take to get MY G-Cash transactions restored??

Okay, okay... I'll bring my transaction elsewhere. I walked to LBC. As you know from the previous article, LBC wasn't much help. On this friday night, I was just tired after thursday's Beatles night at 70's Bistro. I just wanted to go home and sleep. But G-Cash derails me. I've been to two LBCs and a Globe Hub. If this next Globe Hub couldn't give me the transaction I'm looking for, I'm going home.

So, I walk to Globe Hub at Glorietta and guess what! There was a queue to the cashier that was 1 kilometer long! Okay, maybe not 1 km, just 15 people long! Haaaargh!

I'm going home...

Sige, just one more try. I ask a Globe representative, Nelle (I couldn't remember her real name), what I need to do to Cash-In some G-Cash. She gives me a form, I fill it up, then Nelle goes directly to the cashier with my P500 pesos to be converted to G-Cash. I add P10 for the transaction fee. A few minutes later, I receive a text stating my new balance including the additional P500 I just cashed in.

Ah finally! After 30 minutes walking two kilometers, going to two LBCs, two Globe Hubs, I finally got G-Cash!

Golly! Who would be crazy enough to go through what I went through just to get G-Cash? Well, I know of one guy...

But wait. Uh, where's my receipt?
"Sir, wait lang po..."
2 minutes...
"Sir, nag-pi-print lang po..."
3 minutes...
"Sir nag-reboot lang ng computer..."
ten kazillion hours...

After twenty five minutes inside that Globe Hub, my transaction still wasn't complete. Crazy! I walked away to cool my head and to use up that G-Cash I had in my cellphone.

I went back to the Hub later. My receipt was printed already.

Nelle said G-Cash transactions have a tendency to slow down the cashier's computer.

Ding ding ding ding! Sound the alarm, call tech support, call the IT guys! They have a lot of work to do!

At the end of it all, I know G-Cash has a lot of possibilities just waiting to happen. But with how my transactions happened (or DIDN'T happen), it seems Globe is still just in testing stage.



In the final installment of this three part article, I will talk about some security issues of G-Cash. I'll also compare it with Smart Money. Lastly, I'll talk about how I think Globe can improve G-Cash and hasten its adoption by the general public.

Watch out for Part III next week, Friday, Nov 5.

- Edwin
This blogger will be on vacation for a few days to defrag his cluttered brain. Thanks to Maya for the technical support.

Read: G-Cash: My Friday Night G-mmick (Part 1 of 3)
Next week: G-Cash kicks butt, but ... (Part 3 of 3)
Search Technobiography: G-Cash

3 Comments:

  • At 1:21 pm, Blogger Red Edge said…

    I believe that the most obvious difference between the two Telcos is that SMART is affiliated with a bank and Globe is not.

    When you have a SMART Money account, it can be tied up to your bank account. This is the key formula!

    It's hard to tie your money only to your Cellular phone number. There's a lot of risks involved in this arrangement.

    I believe that the REAL BATTLE between these telco giants is in the ACCEPTANCE arena. Whoever gains the confidence of both merchant and users wins.

    It's a problem with merchants to let go of cash. In example: If I want to encash my G-cash (convert it to cash), it's a bit hard for a merchant to swallow the fact that he/she has to rely on a piece of text message confirming the transaction.

    If something went wrong and the SMS confirmation was delayed, the merchant will end up holding the bag. The customer would definitely throw a fit! What if you were the customer and you just encashed P5,000.00? Hehehehe.. If you don't receive the cash because some stupid message didn't arrive, it's enough to make you want to curse the Telco, let alone the merchant establishment you encashed to.

     
  • At 11:51 am, Blogger Edwin "ka edong" said…

    hi red edge,

    uy, thanks for the input. ngayon ko lang nabasa comments mo (jan 19).

    acceptance -- yup, that is a battle they'll have to fight out. Which telco will be more accepted by more merchants and more *customers*.

    But in the end, both will thrive. IT's a matter of "market share" of either telco. They'll continue to have different systems not talking to each other.

    I have a (secret) thought -- whoever gets Sun Cellular as a "partner" will win! hahaha! E.g. If G-cash transactions can be done using a Sun SIM, Globe will come out the winner. (in fact, if G-cash transactions can be done using a Smart SIM, G-Cash would have "won", i think)

    so much for my secret thought! I'll revert to my silence ...

    ka edong

     
  • At 12:16 pm, Blogger Edwin "ka edong" said…

    a bit more on my "secret" idea:

    The questions some people will have:

    Q: "Why would globe open up it's G-Cash system to serve Sun subscribers or Smart subscribers?"
    A: So that G-Cash will become a standard

    Q: How will Globe benefit from this strategy?
    A1: Imagine a Smart subscriber walking up to a Globe business center and buying G-Cash. The 1% service charge is revenue for Globe (and not for Smart).
    A2: I imagine a G-Cash (partially open) system where Smart/Sun subscribers can send G-Cash (person-to-person) only with Globe subscribers.

    The idea is to *not* remove Globe phones from G-Cash transactions (to *not* allow Smart-to-Smart G-Cash P2P transfers). Keep those Globe subscribers within the G-Cash transactions. That way, Globe is not just letting Smart/Sun subscribers "piggy back" on the G-Cash system. That way, Globe subscribers are still in the G-Cash transaction and Globe still gets revenues from increased G-Cash transactions.

    daming iniisip!
    edwin

     

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