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.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The next killer-app: Load-to-Cash conversion

The next killer-app is the ability of Filipinos to convert cellphone load to cash on a large-scale.

There should be a networked facility whereby any Filipino could walk up to a stall and exchange, say P300 or P3,000 worth of load into cash. Just like money changing.

With this kind of service, mobile-payments across the archipelago will be possible.
Through my cellphone, I will be able to buy and pay for an order of durian icecream for a friend in Davao. I will be able to sell copies of my book and receive payments through mobile phone.

Finally, I'll be able to pay bus fare or pay the fruit vendor by sending load. Even better, I can shop at SM and pay using load from my phone.

This enables the Philippine economy to grow faster because of faster transactions. The velocity of cash becomes lightspeed (or "loadspeed"). This will load-passing coupled with load-to-cash conversion will take the place of domestic remittances.

Optionally, to further facilitate these transactions, the three telcos should be able to pass load to/from each other. Furthermore, telcos will need to standardize load value. Otherwise, my Sun load will not be equal in value to my Smart load.

This concept of using load as payment is already being done. Some Ragnarok gamers pay each other through pasa-load. But it isn't done on a large scale yet. Afterall, how can I accept P3,000 worth of load as payment if I can't convert it to cash in an instant?

Load-to-Cash conversion: the next killer-app that will boost mobile-commerce in the Philippines.

- Edwin
Bulalakaw morn

Whatya tink? How do we do this? How else will it be useful? Share your thoughts.

Read: Pasa Pamasahe, Edong's Dreams - Video Rentals
Visit: Read Boying's "Business and Government in the Philippines"


  • At 12:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Isn't that like using money to buy money? Nice idea but I think u should leave that part to debit cards... or else the purpose of having prepaid cell cards will be defeated.

  • At 3:00 pm, Blogger Edwin "ka edong" said…

    > Isn't that like using money to buy money?

    Hi Anonymous,

    Yup, it is like using money to buy money. It's exactly what your friendly money changers do.

    The difference is, "load" as a currency is very transferrable -- to borrow a term from our cellphones, load is very "mobile".

    I can send load from pagudpud, ilocos all the way to cuyo, palawan! Can you do that with your five peso coin? ;-)

    Here's a story: Many years back (1999), a friend asked me to contribute some cash for a gift to a friend. I couldn't give him cash because of geographic constraints. What did i give him?

    I game him the cellcard number and PIN of a cellcard worth P150. All he needed to do was find somebody who needed P150 in cash and "sold" the cellcard number and PIN. Thus, i was able to transmit money to my friend without having to meet him.

    With all the share-a-load, pasa-load and even ask-a-load (by globe), this transfer of money becomes even easier.

    > Nice idea but I think u should leave that part to debit cards... or else the purpose of having prepaid cell cards will be defeated.

    Well, i've given this load-to-cash-conversion much thought, especially after G-Cash came out (note, this article was written before G-Cash). I've identified some challenges to this concept. I'll write about that at another time.

    let me think about your insights for a while .... The thing is, i don't understand what you're suggesting. Hope you could tell me more ;-)

    thanks for sharing! keep 'em coming!



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