Valienska Magfira, Raphael Kim

Intimate Currency

Peck As You Go by Raphael Kim

With the world becoming more globalized with the help of the internet, businesses and payments become more intangible and digital. Such as so, payment systems are pressured to keep up with the rapid growth of e-commerce. Such digital revolutions include online banking and bitcoin for example. Peck As You Go is an alternative payment system proposed by Raphael Kim with his research on oral microbes and bio-technology.


Peck As You Go, Bogey Saver by Raphael Kim - The Bogey Saver is a concept part of Raphael Kim's speculative design of an alternative payment system called Peck As You Go. Further elaboration of the design can be read in his website . Raphael Kim

It was found that micro-organisms like spit or mucus can be manipulated to react to electric waves. Inspired by the combination of biology and digital technology, Raphael designs a new, intimate, and direct form of currency using our spit, mucus, and boogers for monetary transactions.

As our spit becomes a living currency, our daily and intimate interactions with one another would also be recorded digitally like a bank statement. But still, the argument for this proposal is that it would combine the security regulations of both DNA protection and digital protection. This would allow the individual to have full control and security of their money without an organizational intermediary.

It’s a thought-provoking speculative design that earned the Future of Money Design Awards in 2015. It reminds us to literally and metaphorically ‘put your money where your mouth is’ and spend responsibly as you would probably have to kiss or spit at strangers to complete a transaction. Indeed, Peck As You Go would be a revolutionary system that allows the individual complete control. But it would most definitely disrupt our conventional norms and values regarding spitting and kissing.

You may find a further elaboration on Raphael Kim’s Peck As You Go in his website.