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Gamification, AirMiles, Points, E-Tokens and the
Future of E-Currency in an OmniWorld
Will Electronic Trading and Barter R...
The company behind marketing EzyCloud in Malaysia are recruiting partners to promote the service,
advertisers to pay for i...
Today, technology provides a mechanism to purchase goods and services from anywhere in the world
and the variety of indivi...
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Gamification, AirMiles, Points, E-Tokens and the Future of E-Currency in an OmniWorld - Will Electronic Trading and Barter Replace Existing Currencies?

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Today, technology provides a mechanism to purchase goods and services from anywhere in the world and the variety of individual currencies and complexities of exchange rates is a potential barrier to trade. Perhaps an answer for the future of trade is the acceptance of points or e-tokens as an exchangeable mechanism linked to a commodity that has a universal value. Since the ability to communicate electronically via speech, text, data and video is becoming a universal essential, the linking of points to electronic communication offers a route to points/e-tokens becoming a standard.

If this develops as it potentially could, it would allow bartering between individuals and supplier/customers based on valuing goods and services in points which then be used to conduct other transactions. Gamification of e-commerce relationships would then become big business !!

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Gamification, AirMiles, Points, E-Tokens and the Future of E-Currency in an OmniWorld - Will Electronic Trading and Barter Replace Existing Currencies?

  1. 1. Gamification, AirMiles, Points, E-Tokens and the Future of E-Currency in an OmniWorld Will Electronic Trading and Barter Replace Existing Currencies? The Quest for Trading Mechanisms I recently attended a meeting to discuss the launch of a new smartphone application intended to challenge existing products such as WhatsApp and Skype by offering telephone calls and texts to mobiles and landlines anywhere in the world free of charge. The business model behind this launch led me to think about the future of Electronic Commerce and whether it might eventually largely replace physical currency as the primary means of trading. Obviously no business can afford to provide services free of charge so it poses a big question of “Who Pays?” when the beneficiary of the service receives it for nothing. Any business model can only be sustainable if there is revenue generated to the supplier of the service. The EzyCloud service is based on a combination of revenue streams which rely on the user being attracted to one or more of the following options :-  Shaking their phone 3 times a day to log on to EzyCloud where they will see an advert  Playing a mobile game in which they can win or lose points  Purchasing a Points card which tops up their usage  Investing in EzyCloud business development  Entering a lottery scheme using their points  Purchasing goods through a network of EzyCloud registered merchants Although the calls and texts are essentially free from any direct monetary payment, there is a scale of rates for calls to different countries based on points. Goods can also be paid for by using a QR code on the smart phone and where money exchanges hand with a merchant, points are earned on EzyCloud.
  2. 2. The company behind marketing EzyCloud in Malaysia are recruiting partners to promote the service, advertisers to pay for inclusion on the logon welcome screen, mobile games developers with applications such as slot machine game equivalents and merchants willing to offer discounts / reward points to EzyCloud users. The EzyCloud model mirrors an existing mobile application called “Line” whose origins in Japan came from the need to communicate in disaster situations such as the Fukashima Reactor Disaster when communications infrastructure is damaged or destroyed. One of the essences of both models is the use of mobile communications as an effective currency in which calls (transactions) are financed by points earned within other trading transactions. It is inevitable in these models that physical currency will be exchanged for points in transactions between all the stakeholders in this ecosystem but it opens up ideas for future business models based on gamification strategies, enabling technologies and an electronic alternative to physical currency. Points, Loyalty Cards and Rewards I am old enough to remember Green Shield stamps which could be collected at gas stations and stores and later redeemed for goods. Today we have Nectar cards offering a similar functionality i.e. buy goods from a network of Nectar members to accumulate points to acquire products at a discount or free. These goods transactions are essentially using points or rewards instead of money and the system is commercially sustainable because the company creating the ecosystem of partners is collectively financed by the transactions that take place through the ecosystem. Loyalty Cards also use points to gamify the relationship with the customer and create a trading model in which transactions use points as an alternative to or in combination with currency. Although this creates a relationship between supplier and consumer to reward loyalty, the limitation of loyalty card points is that they can only be redeemed with that supplier (the objective of the scheme) whereas solutions like Nectar offer more flexibility and value to the consumer. Air Miles are another gamified solution offering the equivalent of points in exchange for purchases. Air miles can now be exchanged between carriers subscribing to the network ecosystem to provide a collective incentive. Points and E-Tokens as a Currency Replacement The ubiquitous nature of smart phones, cloud computing and wireless networks may open up the possibility for points / e-tokens to work alongside physical currencies and perhaps eventually replace them. Before currency was invented as a universal medium, trading took place via barter system in which goods and services were exchanged on an individual basis. As people began to travel to different places there was a need to establish a standard form of payment to facilitate trade between different types of product/service suppliers and gold became an accepted mechanism. Gold was eventually replaced by currencies linked to a gold equivalent.
  3. 3. Today, technology provides a mechanism to purchase goods and services from anywhere in the world and the variety of individual currencies and complexities of exchange rates is a potential barrier to trade. Perhaps an answer for the future of trade is the acceptance of points or e-tokens as an exchangeable mechanism linked to a commodity that has a universal value. Since the ability to communicate electronically via speech, text, data and video is becoming a universal essential, the linking of points to electronic communication offers a route to points/e-tokens becoming a standard. If this develops as it potentially could, it would allow bartering between individuals and supplier/customers based on valuing goods and services in points which then be used to conduct other transactions. Gamification of e-commerce relationships would then become big business !! David Wortley FRSA FOUNDER AND CEO GAETSS EMail: david@gaetss.com (UK) Mobile: +601123180284 (Malaysia) +447896659695 (UK) Gamification and Enabling Technologies Strategic Solutions Shaping the Future of Business and Society through Human Development and Motivation - www.gaetss.com Strategic Enabling Technologies Director at IORMA http://www.iorma.com/iorma-executive-board-and-advisory-board.html

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