In a changing world that is driven by advances in technology has the concept of 'cash' been left behind?

Consult Hyperion's 14th Digital Money Forum to discuss the relevance of cash and seeks to find viable alternatives from industry experts and thought leaders.

In a world that is forever changing and a society that is driven by advances in technology, has the concept of 'cash' been left behind? Consult Hyperion, an independent consultancy that specialises in the fields of secure transactions in contactless smart cards and mobile technologies asks; due to the increasing ubiquity of online and electronic payments, including contactless and NFC, is there still value in exchanging tangible notes and coins?

Consult Hyperion's annual Digital Money Forum considers revolutionary ideas and solutions in the world of electronic payments, although with rumours this month of Apple introducing NFC on its next generation iPhone 5 and iPad 2, and the Orange/Barclaycard summer rollout of its contactless solution, these ideas perhaps are no longer so revolutionary and are increasingly becoming more reality. Now in its 14 th year, the Forum once again promises the combination of discussion and debate, learning and fun, that has earned it the reputation as the place to be for people interested in the future of retail electronic payments.

This year's Digital Money Forum is sponsored by Visa Europe and Monitise, and also supported by OLSWANG with media partners International Payments Summit and Smart Insights. Television and Radio Journalist Maggie Philbin will be introducing the wider perspectives in currency and digital money, before Catherine Eagleton from the British Museum speaks on what we can learn about our present and future currency, based on the history behind it.

"At this year's Forum we want to discuss the impact of alternative currencies on society, including the advances of payments in mobile technology, only last week we've heard the announcement from Orange and Barclaycard about the summer rollout of its contactless payments scheme," said Dave Birch, Chair of the Digital Money Forum, and Director at Consult Hyperion. "However, it's not just a case of maximising the potential of new technologies like NFC to make life easier for us as consumers and the financial industry as a whole. there is now a growing belief and plenty of stories that tell us that cash is no longer safe, and that by lowering the usage of it, we can reduce robbery and theft, so for that reason alternative currencies for society's well-being must be explored too."

Keynote speakers at the Digital Money Forum are representatives from Consult Hyperion, including Dave Birch speaking on 'identity is the new money', as well as Richard Watson, the author of the book 'Future Minds', Mary Mellor, the author of 'The Future of Money, Michael King from World Currency Unit (WOCO), and individuals from PayPoint UK, Barclaycard, Visa Europe, Arcam International, Gold Money Foundation, and E-Money Association. The theme of digital money and contactless payments in transport is also prominent this year with presentations and results from live trials and projects from the Department of Transport and Transport for London.

The Digital Money Forum is being held on the 2nd and 3rd March 2011 , at the Guoman Charing Cross Hotel, London , as a not for profit event. This year, Consult Hyperion have chosen to support BUFFER (a charity that provides specialist diagnostic equipment for breast cancer), Jubilee Action, Surrey Care Trust and The Prostate Cancer Charity. Delegates will receive a complimentary copy of The Digital Money Reader 2011, and as always, the Forum is limited to 100 places with early bird discounts available.

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