The new form of money for the 21st century. Newsletter 2, July.

By Bruce Phillips: 2000

If I was to say these are the best of times for collectors I am sure this would raise a few eyebrows but let me explain.I am well aware that the current market for many collectables isrelatively weak and changing. Few of the traditional hobbies are really humming along. Collecting habits and interests change overtime. Stamp collecting is a good example. Few young people now participate in the hobby and the median age of collectors has probably reached the age of about 60 years.

The traditional collectables of older generations are not fantastically appealing to younger people brought up on a diet of television, video games, fast foods and fast cars just to mention a few competing fields of interest.However all is not lost as the seeds are rapidly being sown for are surgence in interest in some collectables. Today, societies arebeing increasingly exposed to mobile phones and prepaid cards,GSM cards, pay to view television with set top boxes and smartcards, chip based payphone, credit, debit and cash cards, chip based cards for cashless ticketing.

At the present time we are only seeing the first stage in an explosive expansion of chip card usage. Within 10 years we are going to see billions of cards in circulation. Familiarity increases interest and collectability, especially with items that represent a form of money. E-cash moneycards have absolutely outstanding potential to become very valuable collectables. I confidently predict that by the end of the first decade of the 21st Century a major collecting interest will revolve around e-cash moneycards. That is why the present is such a great time to be a collector of the various stored value cards that are available. I think that some international brand names will be very widely collected but national brand names will be locally important.Today's collectors of e-cash moneycards cards will be very pleased that they sought out the early issues. In particular Ibelieve that Visa Cash and Mondex cards will be at the forefront of the internationally important issues.

Evidence of expanding usage of E-CASH Moneycards and Chip Cards in general.

It has recently been annouced that about 10 million Visa Cash cards will be issued in Korea. A consortiun of banks and SK Telecom will issue the cards that will allow purchases over the Internet and at retail outlets. In the Philippines a group of banks, retailers and a telecommunications company will also issue some 10 million Visa Cash cards.In both of the above cases card processing will be done by a Singaporean company. Other processing companies are being established for the same purpose of processing smartcard payments. In Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany similar developments are underway. Both the Australian and the UK company will begin processing cards early in 2001.

In the UK it has also been reported that a major bank will issue millions of Visa Cash cards to use the UK facility run by Prepayment Cards Limited(PCL). The UK Post Office is to issue and recharge cards issued by PCL. The Post Office may also issue its own card using the PCL platform. As there are 18 500 Post Offices this will provide a comprehensive network for card users.The first stage in the deployment of cards will begin with 750 000 being issued to commuters in the Manchester area. Further roll-outs will follow as most of the major transport operators have signed up for the smart ticketing system.

Some comments on the Visa Cash Cricket cards issued in Australia and New Zealand.

There appears to be some confusion about these issues. Cards with a cricketing theme were issued in both Australia and New Zealand. Two cards with denominations of $25 and $50 were issued in Adelaide in December 1999 and a $20 card was issued in Wellington, New Zealand in January 2000. The Australian cards are very scarce and already expensive but are destined to rise to much higher levels in the future. The New Zealand card has been issued in much larger numbers but is surprisingly difficult to obtain in used condition. Hoewever mint cards can be readily purchased.

Contacts. listed below are card dealers and collectors willing to assist in your search for cards.

Bruce Phillips:
Scott Shapiro:
Hendro Winatan:
Bjorn Ahlander:
Robert Crane:
Bob Champion:
Jose Pereira:
Olley Millington:
Cecilia Wong:

Good Collecting
Bruce Phillips.

Photo #1 Mondex Card from Crédit Mutuel, France
Photo #2 Visa Cash Card from Hong Kong
Photo #3 Smart Card from Australia