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E-money services

Will e-money make the world go round? Nigel Miller reports

26 July 2002

Has the age of the cashless society finally dawned? On 27 April 2002, a new regime for issuers of electronic money was born. It opens the door for institutions to offer e-money services – an electronic surrogate for notes and coins – and offers a measure of protection for consumers who wish to use them. At present, the majority of e-commerce is handled by the existing credit card system in the same way as remote telephone sales (card holder ‘not present’). Consumer resistance to using credit cards online may be ill-founded, but it is well established. Moreover, for the many who do not have access to credit or debit cards (those under 18, for instance), access to e-commerce and m-commerce is restricted. There are other potential advantages of e-money over traditional credit card payments. For the payee, accepting e-money may be cheaper and lends itself better to micro-payments. For the payer, e-money is free, convenient and can be used as a payment mechanism between individual...

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