Virtual Currency: Convenient Spending

I love coffee and drink two cups of coffee almost everyday. When I am busy, I easily visit Starbucks and make an on-the-go coffee. Of course the location of stores is one part that I go Starbucks so often, but its easy payment system is another reason.

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I load a certain amount of money onto my Starbucks app and pay with the Starbucks app on my iPhone. I can get a cup of coffee even though it is a day that I forgot my wallet.

From my experience, virtual currency is easy, and sometime I get to spend money without thinking. In a reverse thinking, business would love a customer like myself who likes convenient payment system and easily spends his/her money.

We had the third guest speaker, Craig, for my E-commerce marketing. He is an entrepreneur and investor. He understands how big the virtual currency market and works on a payment system, Payz.

According to Craig, the e-market has a possibility of $350 billion, including unbanked money, gift cards, etc. However, there are a few problems like shopping cart abandonment. For example,  you added some dresses and shoes in the cart. You want to find your credit card, but you just figured that your wallet is in your car. You postpone to add your credit card information, and your dresses and shoes are forgotten forever.

Of course brands can send a reminder email to you that you haven’t finished the order process. However, before brands send out emails for the unfinished business, we can save one step by having consumers pay with the virtual currency.

Gilt, one of my favorite shopping site, can be an example of a company uses virtual currency. Among the deals, there are some items which cannot be returned, but some other items can be returned with gilt’s website credit. The virtual currency stays with the company waiting to be spent on another item. Consumers do not have a problem with this system because they know this is the way that Gilt has bargains every day.

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Facebook Gift is another good example of virtual currency: gift cards.The social network service provider used to allow gift givers to choose a specific items, like chocolate cookies or a grande latte from Starbucks. However, there was some problem in terms of stocking and logistics, and now Facebook provides e-gift cards.

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You choose the amount of money from $5 to $50, and the e-gift card will be digitally delivered to the gift receiver. This is a convenient and easy for both gift receivers and givers.

Back to my Starbuck fervency, virtual currency also allows me to be loyal to the company since I can collect starts to upgrade my status from green to gold. When I have my Starbucks app, my credit card and some cash in my hand, I will use the smartphone app because I can receive much more benefits at the gold status as well as it is fun to collect stars. The more I use the app, the more I loyal to Starbucks.

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