So I'm sitting at the Bruce Springsteen concert in Boston's Fleet Center. It's about the fifth song in and I've been yelling and screaming because Bruce is well... amazing. I feel parched but I don't want to brave the lines out at the concession stand, nor do I want to leave my seat. Hmm. Maybe I'll just dial up the beverage I want on my mobile phone and have it delivered right to my row.
Sound far-fetched? Not if you're somewhere in the range of a Cellbucks network. Cellbucks, an electronic payment network in the US, is busy inking deals with stadiums and concert venues so you can order items, such as food and beverage, without ever leaving your seat.
Cellbucks also wants to extend the service to drive-thrus and home delivery companies. Currently, Cellbucks is up and running in Dunn Tire Park in Buffalo, New York. The company says it has more rollouts expected by the end of the month.
Users register for the service at the Cellbucks Web site and provide their name, credit card and other pertinent billing information. The only snag is you can't have call blocking enabled. Once you've identified a venue that supports Cellbucks service, you simply dial the number Cellbucks provides you and place your order.
A year or so back, after a trip to London to attend a global e-commerce forum, I wrote here that these types of systems would start to proliferate. You want a drink? Dial up a code posted on a vending machine and voila, it's billed to your mobile phone. Need a taxi? Dial up a code posted on a street sign and again, it's billed to your mobile phone.
Suddenly, your phone becomes the equivalent of your credit card. Now, if you're saying, wait, what about the security on that, I'm with you. I've misplaced my mobile phone more times than I have my wallet. And my Nokia looks exactly like every other Nokia out there so retrieving it is always challenging. Imagine if I was essentially losing a carte blanche credit card? Not a pretty sight.
Also, do I suddenly want the mobile phone company to know my buying habits? Do I want some central payment system to know my buying habits? It's only a matter of time before this is up there with Web browsing as the No. 1 ticket to behavioral studies.