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Competition: do you know what it is?

Just clearing out my desk and found an old pen:


Copy of one of my books of your choice to the first person who gives a decent explanation of what the sponsor of this pen did (my choice as to what's decent).

Another copy of one of my books for the first person who can provide a view of what this has become today.



About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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I’ve blogged quite a bit about adapting to change lately, and will continue to do …

  • Em

    1. Smartcards!
    2. This has become something now qualified as pen hoarding

  • Hi Chris
    You mean Mondex, part of the MasterCard WorldWide suite of smart card products, enables cardholders to carry, store and spend cash value using a payment card. It is faster than handling conventional currency, and in many cases safer. It behaves exactly like cash, offering immediate transfer of value while requiring no signature, PIN or transaction authorization. The unique Mondex platform allows its use in multiple channels where cash cannot be used including:
    •Mobile phones
    •Interactive television
    Kind Regards

  • Was Mondex the first true digital cash…an invention far too ahead of it’s time. Load cash onto a card then spend it like cash at a very limited number of places. A similar (vaguely) model will be used for some forms of mobile payments.

  • Gareth

    Hmm, tricky. I thought it was a chopstick at first. I *think* my grandparents told me they were known as pens, and you used to get given them at trade shows and sometimes banks (but those ones had chains on them). I’m told blue or black stuff leaks out of them. Thank goodnes my generation invented laptops and iPads.

  • The sponsor was presumably NatWest?The ‘inventor’ also came up with Purseus, another idea a bit before its time (but now live and well). I understand fixing pensions is the current focus. At a personal level I also credit the ‘inventor’, following an in-depth security discussion late one evening (were you there..??), in saving me from a scam.

  • anuj

    Mondex is a smart card electronic cash system which was originally developed by National Westminster Bank in the United Kingdom and subsequently sold to MasterCard International. Mondex launched in a number of markets during the 1990s, expanding from an original trial in Swindon, UK to Hong Kong, Guelph, and New York [1]. It was also trialled on several British university campuses from the late 1990s, including the University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter (between 1997 and 2001), University of York, University of Nottingham, Aston University and Sheffield Hallam University.
    The Z notation was used to prove security properties about Mondex, allowing it to achieve ITSEC level E6, ITSEC’s highest granted security-level classification
    MOTOROLA is the company producing the microchip for MONDEX SMARTCARD.
    They developed several implants for humans using the “Bio-chip.”
    The “bio-chip” measures 7mm in length & is .075mm wide, as large as a grain of rice.
    It contains a transponder and a rechargeable Lithium battery. The battery is recharged by a thermocouple circuit that produces an electrical current with the fluctuation of body temperature.
    They spent more than $1.5 Million Dollars in research just to discover the best place to insert the “bio-chip” into the human body.
    They only found two satisfactory and efficient places – THE HEAD,
    underneath the scalp
    and the backside of the hand,
    There is only one solution for this problem, embraced by MOTOROLA… implanting the “bio-chip” in the right hand or the head, where it cannot be removed. If it is removed by surgery, the small capsule will burst and the individual would be contaminated by the Lithium and the chemical in the microbacteria, and the Global Positioning System (GPS) will detect if it was removed, and will alert the authorities. Notice MONDEX means “Money on your hand.”
    MON = MONetary
    DEX = DEXter = Right-hand side

  • David Hannam

    Persuaded uber conservative NatWest to spend £100m on a student union bar tab solution as in “bartender DEX me a beer” and then got them their money back by persuading a large US Corporation several years later that it was a global solution. I still have £6.13 on my Mondex Wallet…anyone want to DEX me a beer for it?

  • Who is going to win your book?

  • Chris Skinner

    I’ll announce result on Friday Hansjorg …

  • Mondex – money for the people living in the land of the magic roundabout, used when cash is just too convenient…

  • Chris Skinner

    The winners of the books are Hansjorg and Anuj. Congratulations!

  • Chris
    The book arrived today, ready to read over the weekend.
    Thank you very much
    Kind regards