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Personalising “Cash”

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This pre-paid and top-up-able Starbucks card guides the customer to “treat this card like cash” – and log on to their web site to create a personalised design.

When the donkey work of transferring a pre-determined and shared value from one person to another can be carried out digitally, to what extent is it desirable to have a tangible representation of that value? In what contexts? And as with this card, to what extent should the customer be able to personalise the tangible representation of that value – to what extent should the customer be able to design and create their own cash?

Thinking about the range of tools to create and reproduce physical things – what are the likely forms this currency will take? And given the degree to which people find comfort in nostalgia, who will be the first to re-introduce the sea shell as a currency?

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