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Thread: eBucks as micropayments

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    eBucks as micropayments

    There is an article on MoneyWeb by Ronnie Apteker that raises the intersting point of using eBucks as micropayments on websites...

    So, let's consider some exciting alternatives. Abroad we saw the incredible growth of PayPal, which was acquired by eBay. PayPal made it easier and more cost-effective for online traders to do business on the Web. Here, in our own backyard, the eBucks Rewards Programme is a very interesting contender to consider. eBucks has a massive user base to tap into and it is the leading rewards programme here in South Africa. Can you imagine if you had the ability to utilize eBucks in an online trading environment? Just think for a minute of the potential should you be able to buy and sell your own goods and service with eBucks. You have a safe, reliable financial instrument, a big user base, and you are not encumbered by the overheads that are associated with traditional credit cards for example. Not to say there is anything wrong with the trusted plastic, but, in the area of micro-payments an alternative is definitely needed.

    Full article on MoneyWeb
    Now there are certainly various issues with this, but also possibly some useful things to consider for people trying to setup a web based business. PayPal access is not available for South African merchants (i.e. receiving payments), and other systems don't have the user base. eBucks has the users....
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Did you see the comments at the bottom of the "article". Perhaps the allergic reaction of the readership is the real story here.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Did you see the comments at the bottom of the "article". Perhaps the allergic reaction of the readership is the real story here.
    I hear you on that - the article as a whole is a plug for the Vottle service. I'm not really interested in that, but I do find the concept of using eBucks as an online payments method interesting.

    The first thing would be to figure out how many hoops need to be jumped through before you can receive payments via eBucks....I have no clue what their system is and how the process works.

    There are payment systems similar to PayPal's such as Setcom, but I suppose the biggest question that needs to be answered is "who is my market?" If it is international then eBucks means just about jack squat. If local then maybe it is a cheaper option than becoming a credit card vendor?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    As someone who doesn't have eBucks, and understands it to be a loyalty program, Vottle basically seems to me to be climbing on the back of eBucks as an add-on to a reward system. Of course I could be wrong. Perhaps eBucks is planning to go mainstream as an online payment system, but if I have to have a bank account with a specific bank to use eBucks, I see a problem.

    What fascinated me in the response to the article was the pretty strong anti reaction. This trashing was not so much about eBucks as an online payment option, or a criticism of Vottle itself. It was a reaction to being marketed to online, apparently again. Essentially a spam reaction and to my mind an over-reaction. For goodness sake, if you don't like the marketing spin, move on, don't buy, but why break out in a rash about it.

    The deeper significance of this sort of reaction can easily be lost. But look long term. If marketing over the internet becomes widely perceived as being harmful to goodwill, then companies will be forced to stop advertising on the internet - and in so doing the internet loses it base of revenue that allows users to get so much information for free!!
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    The deeper significance of this sort of reaction can easily be lost. But look long term. If marketing over the internet becomes widely perceived as being harmful to goodwill, then companies will be forced to stop advertising on the internet - and in so doing the internet loses it base of revenue that allows users to get so much information for free!!
    In this specific case I think it is a problem of the medium used. MoneyWeb is a news website for investors and people interested in the various aspects of money, investing and economics. Are they really interested in the uses of Vottle?

    Target an article at all eBucks users (say via FNB) and promote it as an online way to (a) purchase alternative products with your eBucks (i.e. ones you can't get through the eBucks store or merchant stores), and (b) a way to sell your services, or unwanted goods, then maybe the reaction would be quite different.

    I got the impression that Ronnie had already abused the platform in the past - maybe he is just using the wrong soapbox.

    Or, to put it differently, one man's spam is another man's ham.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    Target an article at all eBucks users (say via FNB) and promote it as an online way to (a) purchase alternative products with your eBucks (i.e. ones you can't get through the eBucks store or merchant stores), and (b) a way to sell your services, or unwanted goods, then maybe the reaction would be quite different.
    I think that says a whole lot about the limitation of eBucks as a general payment medium. Targetting (or highlighting as in this case) this method means you're positioning yourself as an add-on to the eBucks program. Which partly explains the resistance when he steps outside of his niche target market.

    If he had stuck to promoting the eBucks payment program he would probably have been fine. And maybe got some downstream business from people joining the eBucks program. However, his self-promotion not only did Vottle no good, it hurt the credibility of his promotion of eBucks.

    Self edification is a dangerous thing.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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