Payment systems at all stages of human development have come a long way. The first methods of payment in the form of barter transactions changed coins, then paper money appeared. In addition to them, stories are known and cases of the use of original means of payment, starting with simple stones and shells and ending with the exchange of people in the form of slaves.
Today mankind has developed and implemented a developed and practical perfect system of non-cash payments, in which electronic money plays an important role. It should be emphasized that the first transfer of funds between users using electrical circuits was made back in 1918 by the US Federal Reserve Bank. Much has changed since then, but the future of electronic currencies remains one of the most pressing issues.
In order to assess the capabilities of payment systems in the near future, it is necessary to understand what electronic money is. Despite the fact that virtual funds have been actively used for more than 20 years, they still have not come up with an unambiguous definition.
In the European Union, electronic funds are positioned as monetary obligations that are stored on a digital medium. Their feature is that, unlike traditional currencies, virtual funds can be circulated without coordination with the central banks of countries, that is, according to their own payment system rules. And, it should be noted that this fact may not be reflected in the best way in the future of electronic money.
Today there are thousands of payment systems that introduce innovative products and compete with each other. There are several key players in the post-Soviet space:
Yandex money. In addition to the usual payment and conversion transactions, since December 2015 the system has been issuing bank cards that can be used all over the world.
WebMoney. The service is also one of the largest, offering its clients a full range of financial transactions with title units.
RBK Money. The payment system is focused on making purchases and withdrawing funds. RBK Money does not provide banking services.
Qiwi. PS is present in more than 20 countries around the world. Offers all kinds of instant payments.
Today, the future of electronic payment systems is directly related to the potential of mobile commerce. That is why the focus is on developing applications for mobile devices. Traders invest the maximum amount of funds in this area.
The volume of electronic payments is increasing every year. Nevertheless, analysts predict a decline in the near future. For example, if in 2010 the growth of payments through electronic systems showed explosive indicators, today it has stabilized to the level of 10-15%. Experts also argue that surges in mobile payments will lead to a reduction in the number of bank cards.
There are more than 20 million wallets in the Yandex.Money system. When using the MasterCard from Yandex.Money, you can forget about the existence of bank payment instruments. But there are other, more powerful payment systems in the world that really determine the future of electronic currencies, namely Alipay. The number of users of this service exceeds 300 million, and they also do not need bank cards. Although opinions on this matter cause a lot of controversy, since banks are also developing online programs, as well as expanding the line of loan products.
Electronic wallets are not in vain popular, because users get rid of the need to carry credit cards, papers and coins with them. Proponents of e-wallets argue that the main advantage lies in the systems ability to track customer “shopping desires”. All this happens in real time and the owner of an electronic wallet can receive up-to-date information about places for shopping, discounts, and loyalty programs. All this is not the future of electronic money, but the present, which saves time and money.
But there are also critics of such payment methods. First, a lot of people dont use smartphones or their advanced features. Secondly, not every e-wallet owner wants his financial life to be stored “on the cloud”.
There are thousands of services in the world to provide instant payments. However, this does not mean that they all satisfy customers. Many companies offer traditional payment methods without providing users with innovative tools. At the same time, the user is looking for alternative, convenient and secure payment methods. For example, the future of electronic payment systems PayPal and Alipay is beyond doubt. At one time, these companies offered customers unique payment methods and acquired an audience of hundreds of millions of people. Therefore, in the coming years, domestic payment services will actively develop their products, primarily through mobile applications and card issuance.
Today, some American companies pay their employees in cryptocurrency, and this trend is also gaining momentum. The head of the Bitcoin Foundation in 2014 noted that cryptocurrency is the money of the future. In his opinion, by 2024 the usual bills will completely disappear. At the same time, many Russian experts believe that gold and foreign exchange reserves will not lose their relevance in the near future. Analysts believe that electronic funds need reliable protection of transactions through traditional payment security mechanisms, especially when it comes to large amounts.
In general, the future of electronic money depends not only on competition between payment systems and demand. The policy of states and the economic situation in the world plays a key role in their formation and development, and the appearance of cryptocurrencies that exist only on the Internet and do not have physical embodiment may well confuse all plans. It is possible that, under the leadership of Bitcoin, they will occupy a dominant position in the financial world and completely displace all other online and offline funds from the financial Olympus. The payment system of the same name with Bitcoin may well replace all existing analogues.