US supermarket chain ShopRite is to make Web-spendable Cybermoola available for purchase throughout its 190 outlets nationally. ShopRite customers will be able to exchange cash for Cybermoola, which can be used as an alternative to credit card payment for online transactions at affiliated Internet merchants.
"Now people without credit cards, or people who prefer not to use credit cards for online purchases, can enjoy the convenience of Internet shopping," says Eric Freeman, CEO of San Francisco-based start-up Cybermoola. "This includes consumers who do not wish to use credit cards online because of security fears, college students and teenagers who do not usually have credit cards, and other cash-dependent consumers.
Jupiter Communications forecasts that the credit card industry's 95 percent share of online transactions will drop to 81 percent by 2003, with prepaid alternatives leading the way.
At ShopRite Cybermoola is printed in-store and each printed certificate holds a 16-digit unique serial number. The certificate has a stored dollar value equal to the amount paid to the cashier. Shoppers activate the certificate by going to www.cybermoola.com to establish their account.