A Digital Hub-based company that supplies debit cards for corporate customers and shopping centres is in the process of creating a debit card specifically for users of Second Life, siliconrepublic.com has learned.
Perfect Card currently provides debit cards for corporate customers like Dell and AOL Broadband implementing reward schemes for employees as well as serving the Richmond Shopping Centre and the forthcoming Quays shopping centre in Newry.
“At the moment we have an office in Second Life but we realised that while we have a real world product for gifts we are looking at transferring that into the virtual world whereby someone who is given a card as a gift can convert this into Linden Dollars,” explained Perfect Card’s Nikki Evans.
Perfect Card, which has been in business for two years now, provides debit cards on the back of the MasterCard platform and is actively looking at breaking into new markets and new countries.
“Already people can use our cards to buy goods online,” Evans continued. “We realised that setting up a direct physical sales channel in each country would take years so we looked at Second Life and realised a virtual version would give us access to an audience of 8.5 million people.”
She continued: “We started looking at Second Life two or three months ago and so far we’ve got as far as opening an office in the virtual world.
“Now that we’ve assessed the opportunity we are working on selecting the right security platform to ensure safe transactions.”
While Second Life has a booming economy based around Linden dollars and real estate market of its own, a growing number of “real life” businesses such Dell and Coca Cola have established presences in the virtual world and many such as IBM view it as a future iteration of the internet in 3D.
“The aim is to create a debit card you can use in the virtual world and the physical world,” continues Evans. “We believe the idea has huge potential but the trick is to get the security stepped up. We believe that Second Life will open up doors physically impossible in the real world.
“We think the debit card which we aim to release by Christmas 2008 will prove popular among the early adopters of this exiting new world who are au fait with technology.
“We think virtual worlds like Second Life will take off quickly particularly among the younger generation in the same way that text messaging did,” Evans added.
By John Kennedy