Yesterday I went to the second half of BarCamp Canberra 2012 (I was busy in the morning and couldn’t make it).
As per usual for a BarCamp there were many great ideas being discussed. Someone (Craig?) suggested that we all go home and write blog posts about our own great ideas. So here goes …
My ideas is this: to build a website to facilitate the transfer of mobile phone credit from people who have a surplus to people who need it.
My wife and I are currently using Telstra pre-paid and every so often when it gets near the expiry date, if there’s any unused credit we transfer some (or all) of that to the other account. Telstra call this ‘CreditMe2U’ and my understanding is that it can be used on any post- or pre-paid accounts. There’s a few limitations, such a maximum of $10 per day and some limit per month.
I see the site facilitating someone posting up that they need, say $5 credit. Anyone should be able to do this for any reason. The request could be as little as just a phone number and an amount.
Someone else, who has surplus credit, would transfer them some credit from their account, and then mark that the transaction has happened. This ensures that the requester doesn’t get flooded with credit transfers and multiple people who have surplus credit don’t end up helping just one person. The requester would also not be able to make another request for 24 hours (based on phone number).
I would be reluctant to require people to register for accounts, as I think that would kill it entirely. It should be able to be truly anonymous. I would also be really keen to see that the site is not indexed in any way (robots.txt, archive.org exclusions, etc), so that numbers can’t be linked with requests.
I’m not sure if carriers other than Telstra have this option, but it’s worth investigating.
While there would be obvious ways to ‘game’ this system, and it’s not a fully thought through idea, it could become so with some feedback. So, what do you all think?