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Playing to Win: An Interview With Play.com’s Francesco de Marchis

  |  October 16, 2012   |  Comments

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De Marchis says that Play.com is working with the government in Jersey and in the U.K. in order to come to a further arrangement.

"The UK government sees it as closing a loophole, but the Jersey government has to work out if they want to work with us or not on this one, because right now we're doing 70 percent of the Jersey post business," he says.

"So if we shut down, the Jersey Post is going to be heavily impacted. So now the question is: are they going to work with us, yes or no?" adds de Marchis, with more than a hint of a threat.

"So one strategy is that we find an agreement and reduce the overall cost for us, or we find a different way of doing the shipping - maybe find a better partner, and leave Jersey. But the last thing we want is to have the customer pay for it - that makes no sense for us."

There's a feeling that the success of Play.com's redesign will be a critical factor in the site's fortunes moving forward. Aside from the customizable marketplace designs, de Marchis says that Play.com intends to jump on another increasingly popular tech bandwagon: e-wallets.

"Rakuten already has a strong background in e-wallets," he says. "They were the first in Japan to use mobile phones for paying with a chip, so now they're implementing their own e-wallet that works with major banks and credit cards."

As the Japanese e-commerce giant also owns its own bank, the transition should be particularly smooth, he says.

Integrating with other e-wallets, and being designed to work around one unique ID built into the chip, Play.com's hardware solution will mean customers won't need to go through awkward sign-in procedures.

"The ID will be in the chip. It will basically make life easier, so you can browse to Play.com and buy instantly from us," says de Marchis.

The technology is currently being tested by Rakuten in Japan, but de Marchis expects it to migrate to Play.com in the very near future.

"That'll be a big plus, because right now all the e-wallets are basically self-contained by the likes of PayPal," says de Marchis. "There is no interoperability. But with this one you'll be able to say, 'I don't care which bank you have, I'm going to accept everything.'"

Rakuten bought the technology from Sony, explains de Marchis. "Sony originally created it by working in partnership with Rakuten, and then they sold to Rakuten. So now Rakuten has an entire company that does this chip on mobile."

The deal was a savvy move by Rakuten and may turn out to be a hugely important string to the company's bow as it attempts to emerge from a tough period of transition.

 

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This article was originally published on http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/interview/2201586/playing-to-win-an-interview-with-playcoms-francesco-de-marchis.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter Gothard

Peter is a Reporter at Computing, and specialises in technology trends, endpoint, apps in enterprise and IT education.

Previously, he was written in the technology and videogames sectors, including Techradar.com and 360 Magazine, with a stint as News Editor on gamesTM magazine. He has freelanced across a range of other games, technology, entertainment and design publications.

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