Saturday, November 15, 2008

PaymentGuy's Top 10 Virtual Worlds

1. WebKinz World - Still the place to be for kids and families. Extremely profitable and well run Canadian family-owned business. Innovative merchandise and licensing tie in to virtual world with massive retail distribution and sales network in North America. Smart and methodical approach to internationalization. Howard Ganz is a kiddie virtual world God.

2. Second Life - Still the place to be for adults, as unlike practically every other virtual world it is nearly all user-generated content. Innovative with virtual land sales and virual currency exchange. Despite obvious well-publicized downsides like lag, UI, churn, crashes too often and stagnating community of active users, remains profitable and virtually owns the educator space. Simply the best communication tool (online visual conversations with spatial VOIP for multiple customizable avatars all completely free!) available on the planet.

3. Twinity - Not yet formally launched so sparsely populated, but takes virtuality to a new level with realistic reproductions of cities and user-friendly links to other media. Downside: no community spirit or user-generated content. Will challenge Second Life if they figure out how to market it.

4. Entropia Universe - The place for aficionados. Hi-tech escapism, flourishing $400m economy enabling fortunes to be made which can be extracted from real-life ATMs. Downside: notoriously difficult and time-consuming to learn the rules.

5. Runescape - Wildly successful virtual world with hardly any publicity, proving you don't have to be cutting edge to succeed.

6. Football Superstars - Great idea enabling people around the world to play football in teams, each with their own avatar ... and then retire to a virtual pub. But it is not yet formally launched, so not proved to be bug-free. The game's developers promise players will be matched according to skill, and will even get the chance to graduate into management. Sure to crush Swedish Powerchallenge soccer.

7. Cool Camels - Made by Naofolt KFT of Hungary offering the first opportunity to franchise a wildly successful teen virtual world. Has 2D and 3D versions and universal translator engine. Extremely innovative cartoon generator, game portfolio of 300+ stand alone and multiplayer games, in-world movie theater and successful merchandise and licensing operations. Profitable well-managed business looking for international franchise partners.

8. UB Funkeys - Designed by Radica and now owned and operated by Mattel. Technically and creatively brilliant with excellent innovation on the real toy tie in and USB plug in angle.

9. CluPenguin - 2.5D pixel mediocrity but excellently managed and run with the creative class keeping control until squeezing the corporate suits at Disney Interactive for $100's of millions for the property. The Penguin Trio achieved the golden goose exit strategy all virtual world operators dream of.

10. World of Warcraft - the best of the best hands down King of all Virtual Worlds. Simply awesome technically and a license to print money making machine.

BEEMME the Mobile Money Scotty!

Beem seems quite cool But needs a network of merchants to support its use;

"The idea that your mobile phone could become a digital wallet has been around for a long time. Here's an object that we carry with us wherever we go. If it could be loaded up with digital cash wouldn't that make life easier - for the users, for retailers who wouldn't need to handle cash, and for the network operators who might eventually become players in the banking industry? But, in the UK at least, mobile money has been a long time coming - in fact, we're making less progress in this area than at least one African country. In Kenya, a system for transferring money between people with mobiles, Mpesa, has been a big success. It enables migrant workers, for instance, to send money home without the trouble of a long bus journey carrying cash.

Now today comes news of another attempt to create a mobile currency. It's called Beem and the press release describes it as "making mobile payments a reality today". Well, almost. I went through a lengthy and quite complex sign-up process to try Beem out - understandably that involves a number of security hurdles - and eventually managed to load £10 from my bank account onto my phone. The idea is that you can then pay for various goods and services simply by sending an SMS. So now I'd like to "beem" a payment somewhere. The only trouble is, there appears to be nothing to buy. Beem says a number of companies have signed up - including pizza restaurants and a taxi service. But when I clicked on my area on their website it showed only the pizza firm and that was marked "coming soon". What Beem - or any other digital money service - needs is a network effect. Once lots of retailers are signed up it becomes more worthwhile for customers to adopt the system and that then encourages more retailers to sign up. Mobile money has proved its worth in countries where many people don't use - or don't trust - the banking system. But we're not quite in that situation here yet. Meanwhile, there is £10 trapped in my phone and looking for a way out.

Friday, November 14, 2008

FRUUGO Blows Off Keynote at SIME

Fruugo is quickly shaping up to be a colossal FUBAR. For those of you needing clarity on what a F.U.B.A.R is! The Fruugo's were full of hot air and puffery bragging before the show with an afternoon keynote at SIME (the Scandinavian Interactive Marketing & Entertainment Awards) modestly titled “Meet the most ambitious start up on the planet”. Fruugo was to explain where the company is coming from, what markets and product categories they were after and next steps
But guess what? They didn't even show up! And their CEO is history.

Check this out;
According to sources (in finnish), Fruugo didn't launch it's service yesterday at SIME, as it was supposed to. Kauppalehti (also in finnish) writes that the CEO Reijo Syrjäläinen has left the company, and the new CEO is Juha Usva. They are now in talks with VC:s about new funding. Their biggest investor so far is Queensway Developments LLC..."

Is FRUUGO Finnish for FUBAR?

Fight Fraud With Vindicia

These folks are smart, hardworking and know what they are doing. If you want to reduce fraud and chargebacks, Vindicia is a great resource. Call them up and tell them PG sent you. Please note, none of the PaymentGuys or Girl are in any way affiliated or receive anything for this referral. This is a gratuitous freebie tip for all our Dear Readers. From their site "Billing and Fraud Management for Virtual Worlds":

Virtual worlds are rapidly becoming online destinations where individuals from all over the globe go to express themselves and interact with one another. Virtual world providers have focused on creating an immersive experience and a robust online community, however the monetization of these worlds is still in the early stages. As companies build out their vision, billing is the last thing they want their customers to worry about. Since the business models around virtual worlds are quickly evolving, it is critical for companies to have a billing system that is powerful yet flexible. Vindicia’s success in the online gaming and dating markets gives us a unique understanding of how users interact in online communities, and which business models and targeted promotions are best suited to building a robust online community while maximizing revenues. Virtual worlds are particularly vulnerable to fraudulent activity such as stolen credit cards (and related chargebacks), money laundering via digital goods, in-world currency transactions and friendly fraud chargebacks. Some experts estimate in high fraud risk areas, online merchants may be losing up to 10% of revenues due to chargebacks alone. Any comprehensive solution must provide tools to control fraud management. Vindicia supports the most popular online business models such as digital goods, recurring billing and token management, yet remains flexible to allow for experimentation and innovative new models like granting credit for user generated content. Vindicia is also inherently global and supports payments and communication in nearly any currency or language. With Vindicia, virtual world creators can optimize their business to monetize effectively, provide a flawless experience and take control of fraudulent activities to let users all across the globe keep exploring and interacting.

CoolCamels is Coming to Finland! Virtual World Developer Napfolt KFT of Budpest will partner with New Media Studio Nefele of Tampere Finland to bring one of the leading kiddie virtual world sites to Finland and Estonia! If you want to launch a kiddie virtual world you should check out this unique opportunity.
As blogged previously, PG recently spoke to Balazs, Juhasz, Founder of Hungary's largest social networking site and kiddie virtual world, CoolCamels. Cool Camels is published by new media company Napfolt KFT in Budapest. You may find more information at the corporate site and facts here The Napfolt Team can also send you a company and product presentation if you like. Cool Camels, or "Teve Club" in Hungarian, is the most popular virtual world / social networking site for youth (kids, tweens and teens) in Hungary. There are 3 language versions, Hungarian, German and English with Cool Camels currently completed extensive development and feature enhancement with a coming mobile version to help speed international expansion and registration.

Cool Camels is perhaps the internet's 1st "virtual pet virtual world". It was conceived and launched in 1999 and has been developed completely in-house. Its international development team is located in Budapest and has some of the finest developer and technical resources in the country.

The Cool Camels team, has created unique and innovative technology including a 3D chat, comic strip generator (with 50,000+ user generated comics and proprietary game portfolio. Napfolt has also successfully extended the Cool Camel's brand into merchandise, animation and print media. It has its own retail operations and publishing arm ala WebKinz.

Napfolt's current aim is to spread the CoolCamels project all around the world, basically as a franchise system on a revenue share basis to have as many language
translations as they can. The new 3D site ( is much more easier to translate as the old version ( - and is much more expandable (easy to
insert new environments, rooms, items, advertisers, etc) So they have to
spread the new version to many languages and countries as possible.

The current old version English ( and German ( websites will be modified and upgraded to the new version as soon we'll find a local partner.

What does Napfolt offer to a local partner?
1. Napfolt provides the engine
2. Napfolt will host the webiste on it's server
3. Napfolt will provide all the new developments they make - to keep all the language versions up to date
4. Napfolt will make all the special appearance requested by paying advertisers
5. Revenue share on all incomes generated on the local site

What does Napfolt expect from a local partner?
1. Local marketing - as they need local users
2. Translation
3. User support

Good deal in PG's opinion. Contact Balazs at

Is Second Life Powered By Porn?

Tom Rawstorne exposes the "worrying underbelly" of Second Life. Personally speaking, PG is more concerned about the tri-titty avatar hookers ...
I knew that avatar was based on the 3 breasted mutant woman from TOTAL RECALL!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Revolving Door at Apaja

What is up with the folks at Finnish creative studio Apaja, the creators of Playray? It seems acting CEO Tiina Zilliacus has been delisted from the management team

And of course, one of the 3 Founders Asmo Halinen has left for "new challenges"
We understand the hunt for new challenges continues as there is nothing new on his blog to report;
There has been a lot of employee and management volatility at Apaja. Same goes for its big brother Sulake, the veritable QUEEN of the Virtual World Drama Houses. And of course Linden Lab rotates people like seasonal crops despite all its TAO and unique working culture spin. This is truly harmful and costs a lot of money and squandered opportunity.

One thing PG has noticed in the vast majority of successful virtual world ventures, like Ganz Interactive (WebKinz) and New Horizon Studios (ClubPenguin) - the management stays consistent and employees stay engaged and onboard with little volatility and turnover and even less day to day "drama". PG cannot help but think that any virtual world developer that keeps its people motivated, happy and engaged will produce vastly superior and successful content offerings than those whose office cultures simply are not attractive enough to keep key people. Maybe this is one of the main reasons why Sulake, Linden and perhaps on a smaller scale, Apaja, despite their early intro and pioneering efforts in the virtual world space and all their innovative achievements over the years, seem to squander the truly big opportunities. On the other hand, competitors like WebKinz and Penguin with harmonious and loyal organizational cultures make it rich ... Culture is so key!

Linden CFO says 3Q "Unusually Strong" for Linden

This is good news for Linden. And congrats! But PG cannot help but think maybe this is due to the absence of any real viable competition to Second Life which currently dominates the space

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Club Penguin Founders may Lose $350million Bonus

Compared to HABBO or WEBKINZ, Penguin is virtual 2.5-D-crap. But the beauty of the business and why Disney forked over $350 mill USD in CASH was its large North American kiddie and family community, huge profits and unbelievable operating margins for a 25 person dev team in the retirement haven of Kelowna BC. However, the growth seems to have stalled and it seems the Disney Finance sharpies are not wowed with the Virtual Arctic World's Growth. Does this mean the ClubPenguin founders lose the alleged extra $350 mill potential earn-out based on growth and performance? PG sure hopes so ... these 3 made way enough dough off their 2.5D kiddie-world.´ See related post here

At $350 mill usd, that was $500 per Penguin - Murdoch bought MySpace for $27 usd a MySpacer


New Legislation Aims to Curb Credit Card Fees

Credit card fees are a huge pain for small business owners. Every time customers run a debit or credit card a percentage of their purchase goes directly to the banks. For some time now small businesses have disregarded the fees, which also impact consumer prices, as a necessary annoyance. As more and more of them are being forced to watch each and every dollar, however; some in Washington are lobbying for fairness and the ability to level the playing field. Right now few businesses can afford to reject cards because of the frequency with which consumers use them, but for small businesses these seemingly minute amounts of money can make all the difference in the future of their businesses. Merchant card fees are broken down into “an ‘interchange fee,’ which includes an average 1.7 percent of the sale price and a flat per-transaction fee, and a separate fee that goes to the merchant’s bank,” according to a recent New York Times article. The Times offers this example:

Take, for example, a driver who pays for a $1,000 car repair with a credit card. The bank that issued the consumer’s card receives an interchange fee of $17.10 (including a 10-cent flat fee), while the repair shop’s bank gets $4, or four-tenths of 1 percent of the total sale. The repair shop pockets $978.90. According to the Nilson Report, a payment systems industry newsletter, merchants paid $61.56 billion in electronic payment fees in 2007. Lenders received an estimated 82.5 percent of that money.

It’s because of figures like these that Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vermont, introduced legislation to crack down on these excessive merchant fees. Welch told the New York Times that “American merchants are paying the world’s highest interchange fees…with literally no protection.” Welch’s bill will require credit card companies to disclose all rates, terms and conditions to the public. The bill will also allow the Federal Trade Commission to review the practices of credit card companies and prohibit any that violate consumer-protection or anti-competitive laws. The bill would also allow merchants to give consumers who pay in cash a discount and bans penalties on small businesses that process only a small number of transactions. Some small business owners don’t believe that legislation is the way to go, while others are thrilled about the potential for reduced fees.

IMVU Lets Users Buy Real Music With Virtual Currency

Real-World Music Comes To Fake-World IMVU. Will Real-World Taxes Be Far Behind?
Eric Krangel | November 11, 2008 11:10 AM Expect a muddy area of the law to get muddier: This morning virtual world IMVU, a PG-13 variant of Second Life with 600,000 active users, launched IMVU Music, a new service that lets that game's avatars buy DRM-free music inside the game world and take it out -- like onto their iPod. All four major music labels and many of the indies are participating. Which means people will be buying real-world goods (music) with fake-world currency (IMVU credits).

Previously, if you had a profitable business in a virtual world (and more than a handful of people make their full-time, real-world income doing nothing but running businesses in games like IMVU or Second Life) in order to buy anything "real" you had to convert your game profits into something like U.S. Dollars. Doing so keeps virtual world economies as closed ecosystems and leaves a paper trail (usually via a service like PayPal) a tax authority could follow. But buying real-world things with virtual profits before cashing out makes an end-run around tax laws, because virtual world companies don't report profits to the IRS -- only PayPal does. How can a company like Amazon (AMZN), which also offfers DRM-free music, compete with that?

Of course, IMVU Music is only just debuting today, and the number of IMVU users with serious profits is tiny. But if the idea of buying real world goods with virtual currencies catches on, expect a raft of new regulation to follow suit. China recently moved to tax its own virtual currency trade -- Western governments may not be far behind.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Phil Guest Replaces Henrik Höglund as Sulake's SVP Ad Sales

Guest replaces Hoglund (although Hoglund left a while ago and spent 11 months at Paynova the Swedish wallet before rebounding and now is SVP Ad Sales at StarDoll This year old blog post by former Sulake SVP Ad Sales Henrik, says it all "New advertising headaches or new possibilities? Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 / Writer: Henrik Höglund, SVP Ad Sales": As the world evolves and new technologies, communication tools or other innovations start to become mainstream it is clear that there will be obstacles and close-to-the-edge issues to solve. Now we are seeing this in online advertising, especially in virtual worlds and online communities....

27 new mobile payment initiatives launched in last four months

Worldwide mobile payment initiatives have now reached more than a 100 and the number of such programs is increasing strongly over the last few months, research reveals.
27 new mobile payments programs have been launched worldwide in the last four months and seven initiatives in the last week, according to a report. Researchers have found evidence that there is a strong trend towards remittance and mobile money transfer in general. 70 percent of the initiatives launched in the last four months target the mobile money transfer market and over 50 percent of all current mobile payment initiatives around the world focus on mobile money transfer. However, despite the recent expectations, analysts believe the mobile payments market is still unfulfilled. In 2002, market experts failed when they predicted that EUR 55 billion would be processed through mobile payments by 2006. At present, the mobile payments market is reported to be at EUR 2.2 billion, only 4 percent of this prediction. The same experts now believe that the market will reach EUR 10 billion by 2010.

The above-mentioned is contained in an update to the ‘Mobile Payments 2008’ report, produced by Dutch consultancy firm Innopay and Dutch research and publishing company Telecompaper. The report includes an analysis of more than 100 initiatives and also looks into the critical issues that need to be resolved in order to make mobile payments initiatives successful. According to the report, the problems that need be to addressed by market players are the lack of mainstream contexts, the complex value chain with lack of co-operation, lack of interoperability and technology standards, security concerns, and competitiveness of existing payment methods in developing economies, as well as the lack of regulation.

Sulake Looking for a UK Country Manager

Country Manager - London/United Kingdom

Sulake is an online entertainment company focused on virtual worlds and social networking. Sulake’s long-term strategic aim is to be a leader in community based entertainment with a portfolio of properties addressing a wide range of target audiences. Currently these properties include virtual world Habbo and social networking service IRC-Galleria. Sulake also offers tailored online entertainment and business services for third parties.

We are currently looking for a Country Manager for UK. The ideal candidate for this role will be some who is looking to move into general management having demonstrated a successful track record in their current role This person will be responsible for the day to day management of operations within the the UK ensuring effective administration of the business as well as growing the audience and profitability of the company. They would be expected to immerse themselves within the product to understand the needs of Habbo customers.

As a Country Manager/ General Manager you will have full responsibility for the budget as well as all key business partnerships within the UK. You will be managing the entire country team - including marketing, community management and customer service people - and report directly to South European & UK Regional Managing Director.

Basic Requirements for the Country Manager / General Manager position are:

• A minimum of 5 years postgraduate experience, with knowledge of online marketing is a must.
• Strong product management skills– whilst there is an important ‘strategic’ component to this role, the ultimate focus is on driving the achievement revenue targets and business profitability.
• Strong deal making skills and able to demonstrate a successful track record of establishing and working with partners.
Strong leadership skills
• Excellent interpersonal skills in order to build strong relationships that will be critical to the success of this role.
• Desire to work in a dynamic and a fast paced international environment
• Fluent written and spoken English, other language skills are an advantage, though this is not a prerequisite.

In this high-profile position you will be actively involved in building a global success story and be responsible for one of Sulake's most important markets. You will gain insight into the latest casual game and community-driven internet products and market trends both in UK and globally.

To apply, please fill in the on-line application by 16 November 2008.

Linden Positions Second Life For the Enterprise

And hires one of M. Linden's Organic Colleagues - whom PG predicts will be on the Linden Management Team in less than 6 months, likely replacing G. Yoon, currently VP Business Affairs at Linden Lab (just a wild guess prediction ...):

"One of the latest additions to the Linden Lab team is Amanda van Nuys, now the director of Enterprise Marketing at Linden Lab. I don't think there's any prizes for guessing that van Nuys was hired by Mark Kingdon, the Lab's new CEO, as she spent five and a half years as vice-president of Corporate Marketing at Kingdon's old haunt at Organic Inc. 'I'm leading the marketing charge when it comes to how companies can use virtual world technologies -- powered by the Second Life Grid -- to communicate, collaborate, and learn,' said van Nuys, 'Needless to say, the possibilities are endless and the timing is perfect. With the current economic downturn, companies are going to be searching for ways to reduce costs (particularly travel), increase innovation, and conduct business in more eco-friendly ways.' Opinion is divided at the moment on whether the economic downturn pushes enterprises towards or away from virtual worlds. It might be another six months before we really start to see an indication of which. Nevertheless with the Enterprise Marketing team continuing to grow at the Lab, it doesn't seem like a stretch that Kingdon would poach someone with a skillset and record that he knows well."

JumpStart Offers Prepaid Card With Incomm

TORRANCE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Knowledge Adventure®, the leader in adventure-based 3D virtual worlds for 3-to-10 year olds, today announced it will be adding pre-paid game cards to its JumpStart® brand of product offerings as part of the company’s transition and expansion into the online gaming market. To support this growth initiative, Knowledge Adventure has partnered with leading industry game card provider, InComm, to help fuel JumpStart’s expansion beyond the retail shelf. This partnership is the next step in the highly anticipated launch of JumpStart’s browser-based 3D virtual world, coming this holiday season. Prepaid gift cards are experiencing astronomical growth in the market. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), last holiday season two-thirds of all American consumers gave gift cards at least once. This year, the trend continues upward, with holiday gift card sales expected to top $100 billion dollars.

“We see pre-paid game cards as a natural progression of our growth as we head into the upcoming holiday season,” said David Lord, president & CEO Knowledge Adventure. “Striking a partnership with InComm was a logical choice for a pre-paid game card partner as they are already working with many of the major retailers. We expect this exciting partnership will help us expand our JumpStart brand footprint both domestically and internationally.” The partnership enables Knowledge Adventure to also increase store presence at those retailers who already carry packaged JumpStart software, as well as creating an opportunity to enter new retail markets including drug stores, grocery stores, and other retail outlets that don’t necessarily have a software aisle. “As the premier provider of pre-paid game cards we believe Knowledge Adventure family products are a great addition to our roster,” said Michael Frasier, Business Development Manager at InComm. “We’re looking forward to helping the JumpStart brand become synonymous with virtual gaming through new entry points into the market.”

First Meta's Virtual Currency Strategy

SINGAPORE: Money talks, even in virtual worlds. If you don't have time to invest in playing or learning to develop items, you'll need virtual currency to upgrade your character in games like MapleStory or to get your Second Life avatar a new outfit.
Local startup First Meta is aiming to take virtual currency to the next level by allowing you to pay for your vanilla latte or to withdraw cash from an ATM using the money you've acquired on your last monster raid online. The two-year-old company is working on a debit card and an online payment gateway that can convert your virtual currency into cold, hard cash. To make transactions between virtual and real currencies possible, it first has to develop a virtual currency exchange to track the fluctuation of rates. In Second Life, for example, the rate for its virtual Linden dollar (L$) has hovered at L$250 to US$1.

"We're in the final development stages of a virtual currency exchange where rates fluctuate in real-time based on supply and demand," said Ms Aileen Sim, one of the two co-founders of First Meta. First Meta plans to work with legitimate virtual currencies only, like Gold from World of Warcraft and Globals from virtual world Twinity. "We also make sure transactions are secure and encrypted," Ms Sim, 25, added. First Meta is no stranger to providing financial services in virtual worlds. In July last year, it became the first company to provide a credit facility to denizens of Second Life with the MetaCard, a credit card denominated in Linden dollars. It has already issued 1,500 cards worldwide.

According to research firm Frost & Sullivan, the local games sector was valued at more than $285 million last year, compared to $87 million three years ago. With gaming set to make it big here, using virtual currencies in the real world could be a boon. In September, Second Life denizens worldwide transacted almost L$24 million (US$96,000, or $145,000). "We don't need to sign up merchants or vendors, because it would be a real debit card that can be used at any store. We're in discussions with banks, payment companies and other financial institutions," Ms Sim told Today. First Meta's project is one of 15 that have been awarded funding by the Interactive Digital Media Research and Development Programme Office hosted by the Media Development Authority. About $12 million in funding has been awarded to these projects, selected from the inaugural Co-Space industry call for proposals that closed in June.

Cyworld Bails on US

Monday, November 10, 2008

Japanese Credit card fraud doubles from 2004

Incidents of online credit card fraud have skyrocketed in the last few years, more than doubling since fiscal 2004 to reach 689 million yen in fiscal 2006, a study by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has revealed. Experts have also criticized businesses and the government for poor credit card security practices, pointing out that a transaction will be accepted on some systems even if the cardholder's name is wrong, as long as there is a correct card number and expiry date. The study, which covered six major domestic credit card companies, shows that fraud has risen over the past few years, reaching 311 million yen in fiscal 2004 and 454 million the following year. Internet shopping has shot up over the last 10 years -- reaching 4.391 trillion yen in 2006, compared to 62.5 billion yen in 1998 -- and around half of all transactions are now completed by credit card.

However, credit card-related crime is also rising. During March 2005, credit card information on 698 people was stolen from a Yokohama gas stand, with those of 56 of the victims used for illicit purchases on the Internet. In another incident in Okayama Prefecture in June 2006, a gas stand worker stole credit card information from customers and used it to charge his e-money account on his mobile phone to the tune of 64,000 yen. At the other end of the scale, credit card information on 40 million people, including those of 77,000 Japanese nationals, was lost in June 2005 after a U.S. data processing company server was hacked. Damage caused by subsequent fraudulent use is somewhere around 130 million yen, which is borne by the credit card company. In order to improve credit card security, card companies are pushing a voluntary password system called 3D Secure. However, uptake by both consumers (4.7 percent, as of May 2006) and stores has been slow. A spokesman from METI's Consumer Credit Division said: "3D Secure has to catch on. It shouldn't affect convenience and discourage consumers from using credit cards. But even when taking the damage incurred into account, we've had to leave uptake by businesses on a voluntary basis, since the time isn't ripe for drawing up a legal framework."