LessCash Payments: Essentially, digital cash mimics the functionality of paper cash. The fact that the elimination of physical cash from the economy is feasible is purely a technological perspective or assumption. Our hard-earned money and investments disappear into a labyrinth of financial instruments so mysterious that “money” almost becomes more of an idea than a tangible reality. This is part 3 of my CashLess/LessCash subject.

Part 1: CashLess-OR-LessCash and Part 2: 2017 Year of Digital Payments have starting strings on the same subject, and it’s good to start from part 1 and then go to part 2 and then continue here.

Digital Payment – A Payment Message Bearing a Digital Signature

A recent 2016 German Consumer Payment Study by TSYS found that two-thirds of respondents had heard of contactless payments, although they were not sure whether their card supported the technology. Two out of ten people actually have a contactless card but do not use it that way. Only 15% actually made a tap-and-go transaction in the last six months. For comparison, more than half of card transactions in Poland are contactless. The idea here is to share some basic and collective information from all those millions of papers and articles available on the Internet.

More technically, a “digital payment is a payment message bearing a digital signature that functions as a medium of exchange or store of value. Anyone looking for some very basic knowledge or an introduction to digital payments through mobile, the internet, etc. and critical attributes or key stakeholders along with meaning, then this article can help, but only at a very high level of understanding. Paper currency and coins represent value because a trusted third party, the government, and the banking industry back them.

CashLess Payments to Drive LessCash Payments

To date, cash is the king. The Ministry of Innovation at the global level is making efforts to fight back and bring this king down. Digital payments and money are making every effort to prove themselves as economic freedom, and in Africa, they no longer need to prove themselves. India went way ahead and slaughtered cash overnight in an extreme and ruthless manner.

Although Mobile Money had been designed as a peer-to-peer payment system, those were the days. In the current date, it helps utility bill payments, airtime topup, microsavings, microlending, merchant payments, etc. Africa, especially the eastern and southern parts, is the home of mobile money and payments.

Mobile payments are the most frequently used and widely accepted technological payment instruments. The objective of digital payment is to assess the user-friendliness, trust, and the user’s view on the current and future authentication methods of cashless payments and to understand ideal payment solutions. The economic barriers are also disappearing, though a substantial additional investment in equipment and cards would be needed to permit even purchases such as soft drinks to be made. But transactional privacy will be at the heart of the government’s attack on digital cash.

What are digital payment methods?

Digital coins also represent value because a trusted third party, usually a bank that is willing to convert digital cash to physical cash, backs them. Because it’s untraceable, the government has concerns about money laundering, offshore banking, and tax havens and has been closely monitoring developments in digital cash. The government would probably only license the company’s patents in a way that preserved the ability to trace them for law enforcement purposes. Without government support, investors won’t have confidence in the development of digital cash.

Digital money runs through a qualitative diagnostic phase combined with a quantification of the results of the qualitative phase. After so much hype in India about digital money, card payments are still the most common application in terms of usage (non-cash payments). A sample date for one week after November 8, 2016 is like this:

  • Card payments stood at 80%
  • Internet payments at 40%
  • Mobile payments were at 4%.

Barriers to non-cash payments have many reasons. Like other payment applications that are more often used, not knowing how to use the application, distrust towards the technology behind the application, and not having the necessary technology to make payments (example, a smartphone where mobile payments are purely based on the mobile app)

Money Transformation from Tangible Item to Electronic Bits & Bytes

The transition from paper cash to digital is going to take its own time, as it is not only a behavioral change but also a change of perceived mindset. Single transactions need not be authorized online, debited from the customer’s account, or printed for the customer. This greatly reduces processing effort, meaning time is saved and less staff is required.

cropped-fin-1-copy-2.pngAll these solutions run flawlessly on Banking as a Service (BaaS) over Banking as a Platform (BaaP). Mobile is the most frequently used and widely accepted technological device of any type. Financial services are a key need for most people due to the almost zero or negligible rate of banking penetration, and it makes sense to enable mobile devices with a set of financial tools and features as mobile handset penetration is more than 10 to 15 times higher than banking. The finance sector can take advantage of mobile devices to penetrate all classes of society, resulting in the birth of mobile money.

Few basic bullet points to understand digital money over mobile device are as below.

  1. Mobile Money Services essentially was for unbanked & underprivileged customers to enhance financial inclusion.
  2. Mobile Money supposes to improve life for the Lower segment of society by Domestic Remittance (P2P) from cities to villages.
  3. The success of Point 2 has a huge dependency on the footprints of agents to withdraw cash or merchant footprints to exchange digital money for physical goods and services.
  4. Building Savings Culture and making a business case for microlending.

The biggest issue on a higher level is that the entire model of digital money is usually pushed and run by capitalism, where individuals and businesses predominantly own resources privately. Businesses of such nature should run on a socialist track so that resources are predominantly owned collectively by the people of a nation and administered by the government on their behalf.

Mobile Payments – New Form of Payments

Barriers to using non-cash payment solutions include the fact that other payment solutions are used more than mobile payment solutions. The fact that people do not know how to use it and the lack of trust behind the technology each account for about 16% of the sample survey.

Barriers to using mobile solutions are mainly related to a lack of knowledge about the applications and the technology needed to complete the transaction. As a barrier, the lack of security and trust is more important for mobile applications than for online applications. Africa, on the other hand, is the home of digital money for push payments, P2P money transfers, and cross-border remittances.

CashLess Payments to Drive LessCash Payments

In the long run, we may see people stop using cards, especially debit cards and, to some extent, credit cards, if the receiving party insists on digital payment. In a mammoth country like ours (India), where “lobbying” is in the genes, these wallet companies aren’t going to simply go down (out of capitalism) without a fight. Moreover, there are still a lot of unanswered questions on sustainability, stability, security, and penetration strategy.

Identified e-money contains information revealing the identity of the person who originally withdrew the money from the bank. Also, in much the same manner as credit cards, identified e-money enables the bank to track the money as it moves through the economy. Anonymous e-money works just like real paper cash. Once anonymous e-money is withdrawn from an account, it can be spent or given away without leaving a transaction trail. You create anonymous e-money by using blind signatures rather than non-blind signatures.

Online and  Offline Payments

Online e-money prevents double spending by requiring merchants to contact the bank’s computer with every sale. The bank maintains a database of all the spent pieces of e-money and can easily indicate to the merchant if a given piece of e-money is still spendable. If the bank computer says the e-money has already been spent, the merchant refuses the sale. This is a very similar process to verifying credit cards at the point of sale, carried out by current merchants.

Business-related issues include the availability of the Internet, which gives the business the possibility of global reach. Put the business online to not just add a new means and channel medium to augment those marketing activities but also increase sales by making electronic purchases possible through the net. The early birth of e-money embryos by Digicash and Mondex was directly picked up by serious monetary reformers and cranks in the nineties and fiercely discussed worldwide in Internet chat rooms.

Offline e-money detects double spending in a couple of different ways. One way is to create a special smart card containing a tamper-proof chip (called an “observer” in some systems). The chip keeps a mini database of all the pieces of electronic money spent by the smart card. If the owner of the card attempts to copy some e-money and spend it twice, the embedded chip will detect the attempts and now allow the transaction. Since the chip is tamper-proof, the owner can’t erase the mini-database without permanently damaging the smart card.

A digital exchange unit could be a basic monetary innovation and the temporary end of monetary evolution. From a historical point of view, basic innovation has always changed the monetary order. The invention of banknotes by London’s goldsmiths by issuing receipts for treasuring gold a few centuries ago, for example, marked the beginning of paper money and ultimately the central bank’s monopoly in money issuance. It is widely believed that the emergence of e-money may have similarly far-reaching consequences. The issue of e-money by non-banks based in unregulated offshore centers poses a threat to the central bank monopoly.

E-Money: The New Headache & A Wonderful Solution

Central banks are equally worried by the prospect that e-money may be issued that is not denominated in the national unit of account, like dollar or euro. That could be the rebirth of private currencies and free banking. Merely jumping on the FinTech bandwagon by banks — or even building a successful FinTech company — will not create a successful financial institution.

To be really successful and become a case study for other countries; the government of the country should initiate and support all initiatives. Distribution of such initiatives at mass level to avoid capitalism model and become good socialism model. All government systems and institute should stop cash payments and receipts. Clean Cash 100% from the government system with the banner “NO CASH”, will be the best choice provided on same notice board you offer 10 other methods. Crime at the same time will also decline at 90-degree angle.

Conversely, an effort to regulate e-cash by removing anonymity will infringe on the financial privacy of users. Electronic systems offer promising automatic auditing ability to governmental institutions. Critics, therefore expect resistance from the government in establishing financial confidentiality. The U.S. government has already unsuccessfully attempted to force a privacy-intruding “Clipper chip” onto the industry. In France, cryptography is completely forbidden by the law. Obviously, this is currently an area of heated debate.

Points to Note:

All credits if any remains on the original contributor only. We have covered all basics around mobile payments data security models and the importance of privacy. In the next upcoming post will talk about implementation, usage and practice experience for markets.

Books + Other readings Referred

  • Research through open internet, news portals, white papers, notes made at knowledge sharing sessions and from live conferences & lectures.
  • Lab and hands-on experience of  @AILabPage (Self-taught learners group) members.

Feedback & Further Question

Do you have any questions about AI, Machine Learning, Data billing/charging, Data Science or Big Data Analytics? Leave a question in a comment section or ask via email. Will try best to answer it.

Conclusion – Digital disruption is at the top of the banking agenda across the Asia-Pacific region. But will the banks’ response to the rise of FinTech be effective? Swept up in the FinTech momentum, banks need a road map to look at why they’re innovating and what requires innovation — while managing the new digital risks innovation introduces.

Application Programming Interface (API) that can connect to existing core banking platforms to offer a range of modern services, including lending money to friends, sending money via Twitter and arranging an emergency 24-hour loan. Few open API’s also allows third parties to access all areas of the bank system, unbundle relevant services and build new services based upon the bank’s platform facilitating considerable innovation. This type of platform will soon allow customers to pull together best of breed solutions in a cohesive way.

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Posted by V Sharma

A Technology Specialist boasting 22+ years of exposure to Fintech, Insuretech, and Investtech with proficiency in Data Science, Advanced Analytics, AI (Machine Learning, Neural Networks, Deep Learning), and Blockchain (Trust Assessment, Tokenization, Digital Assets). Demonstrated effectiveness in Mobile Financial Services (Cross Border Remittances, Mobile Money, Mobile Banking, Payments), IT Service Management, Software Engineering, and Mobile Telecom (Mobile Data, Billing, Prepaid Charging Services). Proven success in launching start-ups and new business units - domestically and internationally - with hands-on exposure to engineering and business strategy. "A fervent Physics enthusiast with a self-proclaimed avocation for photography" in my spare time.

One Comment

  1. Eliud at

    Resistance to change is bound to happen. Especially when cashlessness implies fighting corruption


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