171130 Conditional Payments

ezpassOne area to which cryptocurrency will undoubtedly be the frontrunner is conditional payments.  In a conditional payment, the amount owed varies based upon conditions that are part of the sales agreement.  There is a system in the Northeastern United States called EZPASS to pay for toll roads on highways.  For example, EZPASS allows the highway authority to charge a varying amount based on the distance traveled.  In downtown congested areas, EZPASS could be set to charge more based on the amount of traffic or time of day.

When the automobile passes through the tollbooth, the highway authority scanner registers the EZPASS account.  When that same automobile passes through the tollbooth again, the amount of the transaction is computed and the account is charged.  That is a conditional payment.  The reason we can’t use credit cards directly for these transactions is credit cards were not designed to accommodate those two-step transactions, log-in to check-out.  A cryptocurrency could be designed to do just that.

For the same reasons, the New York City subway system cannot accept credit cards as payment directly.  Passengers must purchase a Metrocard with a credit card or cash and then swipe that card when they go through the turnstile.  Different passengers make different kinds of subway purchases, e.g. monthly passes, single rides.  The credit card would not know that the charge was anything other than a single fare.  A cryptocurrency could be designed to understand that the passenger purchases might be more beneficial when purchases as a monthly pass and charge the difference under certain circumstances.

Ohio Governor Turnpike