Disadvantages of Electronic Payment Systems

Electronic money, also known as e-money, electronic cash, e-currency or digital cash, refers to money or scrip which is exchanged electronically. Basically, electronic payment systems are key enablers for mass acceptance of electronic commerce over insecure systems such as the Internet. In Business-to-Business (B-2-B) e-commerce, there is a rapidly growing interest in processing payments online.

However, these electronic payment systems have a number of a number of disadvantages also. You need to record to the establishment in order to be empowered to perform money transactions with them. Now, you need to have a username and password, and for that you need to have password aegis. Moreover, you also need to keep up an account per organization, which can be very irritating or pesky for you.

To make sure that your online transactions are solid, it is essential that you observe strict security policies. If password is capable of being hacked, it can mean serious fiscal loss for you. Banks or financial institutes that have your financial information can expose it to cyber-terrorist. So, there is unstated risk of your personal and account particulars being stolen.

The transfer of digital currency arouses questions such as how to impose taxes and the potential ease of money washing. There are also possible macroeconomic results such as exchange rate stabilities and shortage of money supplies.

Moreover, you are always at a loss if your card is stolen. If the card falls in wrong hands, there is a danger of expenditure of entire bank balance. You will obviously inform the concerned authorities about the loss but the time taken between losing the card and informing the authorities is critical.

The purpose of the above article is not to discourage people from making electronic payments but to make them aware of the inherent dangers that such payment systems involve.

Why the Germans Do Not Prefer Electronic Payments

The world of payments is rapidly moving towards the digital options. However, still several customers use cash and they finalized their transactions by using actual cash.

Industry experts are predicting that cash will be obsolete in a few coming years. However, there is a European country which is following a totally opposite trend. In Germany, the use of physical cash is more than any other country in the world. According to a research conducted by Federal Reserve, the people of Germany use cash in 82 percent of their financial transactions. 13 percent of these transactions are executed by using debt cards while only 2 percent of the transactions are carried out using credit cards. Germans keep more cash in their wallets as compared to the amount carried by people in other countries. On average, each German keeps $123 in his wallet. As per the research, the average amount kept in the wallet by Germans is almost double as compared to the quantity of cash kept by people in other countries. Americans keep $74 in their wallets, on average, while the people of Netherland carries $51.

The people of Germany not only like to pay in cash but also, they want complete freedom to do so. A recommendation to limit the use of cash faced extreme opposition from consumers and political experts. According to Guardian’s report, there was a ban imposed in Germany on making any payment via cash which has worth more than 5 thousand pounds. The purpose of this ban was aimed at stopping money laundering and the use of cash to support terrorist activities. Such bans are commonly imposed in other countries of European Union but in Germany, this suggestion faced strong criticism by the majority of the political groups.

According to Guardian, the head of Germany’s Central Bank, Jens Weidmann said while talking to the journalist of Germany’s newspaper named “The Bild” that if Germans get the impression that the use of cash is going to be gradually restricted in the country, it can prove to be actually fatal.

Even the newspaper was also against this suggestion. In February 2016, the newspaper published an open letter and urged the readers to sign it and send it to the finance minister.

The commitment of German people with the use of actual cash is so strong that most of the people are storing the cash in their houses. As per Wall Street Journal, the majority of Germans are withdrawing their money from banks and storing it in the safes inside their houses. This trend is so intense that a vault making company reported 25 percent increase sales increase in the first half of the year 2016. Several other such companies are delivering their maximum production in order to meet the increased demand of vaults.

Why do Germans Prefer Cash?

Despite the fact that electronic payments have made the things extremely easy for the people, why Germans still prefer physical cash over electronic payment? One reason for this is the security. Germans believe that payments via physical cash are more safe and reliable as compared to electronic payments.

To cater these issues, it is recommended that such a payment partner should be chosen which is compliant with the standards of data security. Moreover, the payment processor chosen by German people should accept several payment options. Online traders can only accept electronic modes of payment, but if Germans are provided with multiple payment options, they can easily choose the one which is best suited to their needs and expectations.

According to the Wall Street Journal, another reason behind German’s hesitation regarding the electronic payment is inflation. Because of the negative interest rate implemented by the European Central Bank, the Germans have to pay for making the deposit into the bank. Furthermore, the history of hyperinflation also made the people of Germany reluctant towards the use of online payments.

Because of the fact that the payment systems continue to get more and more advanced, it is expected that with the passage of time, the Germans will also move towards electronic payments, especially, when they have to make international payments. Business companies have to work hard in order to reach German people, but these companies shouldn’t give up.

Ecuador’s Exclusive Electronic Payment System: To De-Dollarization?

After 15 years of taking a move in improving its monetary system, Ecuador is again changing its payment transactions, now with the help of digital currencies.

The South American country’s new monetary system, which fully kicked-off last February, was the first-ever state-run electronic payment system. Last December, Ecuador’s Sistema de Dinero Electrico allowed qualifying users to set-up their accounts.

The Ecuadorean government took this action to address its stumbling currency for the US dollar. The system is also designed to support the country’s dollar-based monetary system.

Among the advantages that this new monetary system offers is that it serves as the cost-saving mechanism for the government. Moreover, economist Diego Martinez, a delegate of the President of the Republic to the Board of Regulation and Monetary and Financial Policy said that aside from helping the poor, mobile payments will reduce the amount that the government will spend for exchanging old notes to US dollars.

One of the few first steps that Ecuador took is trying digital currency in paying taxi fares. The Central Bank of Ecuador signed a deal last February, involving 60,000 members of taxi organizations to accept electronic money. After this initiative, users will be able to select services and pay through mobile transactions. They can also send money between individuals. Later this year, the third phase of the electronic money system will allow users to pay for public services through mobile payment.

Ecuador’s new payment system does not require internet connection to be able to have successful transactions. Also it can be redeemed as physical money, and users will be able to make payment using their mobile phones and stored value on their accounts.

On the other hand, even the government cleared that digital currency does not aim to replace the existing payment system in their country, some professionals inside and outside Ecuador speculate that this step was taken by the government because of other motives. One of them is Mr. Lawrence White, Economics Professor at George Mason University. According to him, he found it reasonable for Ecuador to provide an exclusive medium for mobile payments. He sees this step as Ecuador’s maneuver to de-dollarization. He further explained that the government’s prohibition of Bitcoin last July is a proof that they have bigger plans, and sees it as potential move to exit US currency.

At the moment, the government still denies speculations that digital currency will allow Ecuador’s central bank to issue new money that isn’t straightly taut its U.S. dollar reserves.

Whether this step aims for de-dollarization or not, Ecuador took a major step in recognizing the advantages that digital currency is offering. This will surely have a large impact with Ecuador’s economy, positively or negatively.