Next Big Thing: this morphing copper pill is the future of payments

Wallets? Bank notes? Coins? Psshhh. What is this, the stone age?

Oh look, it’s a pretty… engraved… gold… thing. Neat?

Yes, neat. Super neat, actually. We’ll forgive you for your extremely inelegant description of it too, because at first, second, or even third glance, it’s not entirely clear what the Scrip - that’s what it’s called by the way - is.

Actually, no matter how many glances you’ve got, you’re probably never going to guess what it is or what it does, but there’s one thing we do agree on - it’s easy on the eyes, and looks very, very fancy. Like a solid gold engraved biscuit, though you wouldn’t want to dunk it in your tea.

Okay so… it’s not a biscuit. Thanks, that really narrows it down.

Well it’s not a giraffe either, so that’s two things you can cross off your list. But enough teasing. We’ll tell you what it is. Are you ready? Sure? Okay.

Scrip is a beautifully crafted copper gadget that lets you make digital wireless payments and transfer money to other Scrip users.

Designed to be loaded up with cash at ATMs, it shows you your funds decreasing in real time as you use it, buying artisan honey, mahogany coat hangers and, er, other things that you normally buy.

The really fun part, though, is the fact that the hundreds of tiny squares etched into its surface are actually buttons, which can pop out to display what you’re spending.

Umm, what?

Right. You’re buying something. It’s US$25. You whip out Scrip, and after some fancy digital chat between it and the till, the squares pop up to reveal the number ‘20’. You flick your thumb across it, in a similar fashion to peeling off a fresh $10 note from a roll of cash. Then the squares become a ‘5’, and you fling that off too. Boom - you’ve paid.

It’s designed to make you more aware of what you’re spending, in a day and age where you can part with sums of cash at the mere tap of a card. Yes, it’s actually less convenient than a simple tap, but if it’ll stop us from spending unholy amounts of money on pick ‘n’ mix every weekend, it’s a blessing.

Sadly it’s just a design concept for now, so our wallets (and teeth) will have to suffer for a while longer.