Archive for December 1999

Digital Wallets

Confinity – recently renamed to ‘’ yesterday announced a pretty cool feature for the Palm Pilot. It enables Palm users to “beam” money with the click of a button. The Palm Pilot application complements’s online software in enabling users to instantly and securely send cash payments to anyone with an email address.

first digital wallet 1999 - paypal palmpilot also introduced James Doohan — better knowns as “Scotty” from Star Trek™ — as the company’s official spokesman. “I’ve been beaming people up my whole career,” Doohan quipped, “but this is the first time I’ve ever been able to beam money!” While remarking on’s cutting-edge technology, Doohan also stressed how easy it is to use. Unlike other current online payment systems that require users to know the bank account numbers of their would-be recipients, users only need to supply an email address.

To commemorate the historic launch of’s Palm Pilot application, Doohan beamed an early Christmas present to thousands of lucky Web users. With the touch of a button on his Palm Pilot, Doohan used to beam a total of one million dollars to countless individuals across the country. While his “Scotty” character may have explored the frontier of space, James Doohan and are heralding a new frontier of wireless, person-to-person payments.

“This new application literally means that consumers will be able to have the power of in the Palm of their hand,” said Peter Thiel, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. “With our free Palm Pilot software, our users will be able to instantly beam encrypted payments from anywhere — a restaurant, a movie theater, or a ski lodge. And the recipient doesn’t need to have a Palm Pilot or even an existing account, just an e-mail address.”