e-money is the new money

In the world that we live in today, we have different options to make payments. It can range from simply old fashion paper money to e-money. So what is the history of money? Historically, exchanges of goods and services was a form of payment. Then there was an invention of paper money which we normally refer to as cash.

[1] "The first recorded use of paper money was believed to be in China during the 7th century.”

Now a days we have something called e-money which is also known as electronic money. So what do I mean by e-money? e-money is a method of payment through a device that hold your bank details. The example of e-money that I have come across are online banking, contactless card, Android pay, apple pay and Paypal.

Not long ago, I received a letter from HSBC bank, inviting me to have a chat about online banking. During our conversation I discovered that it will be all Green, meaning less paper work. You can view all your account details online, explore your saving account and look up options for loans. Basically all the financial support you receive in a brach would be easily accessible online and within the comfort of your home.

So online banking! I thought, great! I don’t have to worry about any bank statements coming through the post and my parents finding about my needless spendings habits.”

Occasionally, my parents insisted to have a look at my bank account. I always try and wiggle my way out but I was not always successful.

With online banking, it was so much easier to manage money especially throughout university. Transferring money to different accounts was just done in minutes. There is always a sense of security on the back off my mind. You must be wondering how safe it is? Well, HSBC uses a unique method including a Secure Key device which looks much like a calculator, in a size of a credit card. You enter memorable numbers on this device, it then generates a unique set of numbers. Only you and HSBC system would know the code, which I believe provides a very high level of security.

They have also introduced contactless system which most of us are aware of. HSBC gave me an option to switch to contactless. I strongly said “no”. Mainly, because I am a clumsy person. I was worried about losing my purse and the consequences of this.

After a couple of days, I saw a video of how a person bought a device and tested with a group of people who had contactless cards. Basically, he would hover the device over their pockets or bags and all the details of the card would be displayed on his computer with the expiry date. He could easily transfer the account details and print it to his hotel key card. Then he went and bought a coffee with a hotel key card. I thought how scary is that?.

I shared this information with my brother and regardless of this information he decided to go with contactless. He found it fairly quick to do any transaction with contactless,whether it was buying Mc Donalds or putting fuel in his car.

You just wave it and go.” he said.

I recently moved to London and I find the transport really reliable. If you miss a bus or a train, there is always another one coming in less than five minutes. The use of Oyster card is so handy. You don’t have to fish out some lose change just to get on the bus ride. You don’t have to line up to get a ticket and tell the ticket officer where your stops is or If you wish to return on the day. You just need to have enough credit on you Oyster card.

Recently Android introduced something called Android pay, which you can use on some stores and London transport. With the help of this technology, you don’t have to keep toping up, you can just touch and go. At the end of your journey the app will display all your destinations and its transaction. I thought this is cool, lets try this out! So I dowloaded the app, entered my bank details and even made a password for the lock screen. On the other hand, knowing my past I wasn’t too sure if I should keep this app on my phone. But still, I thought let’s give it a try.

My experience with Android Pay is going well so far. Even if I am late I can quickly tap and go. The only down side is that it doesn’t work on buses yet. I am hoping they might make it available in the near future.I believe Apple is doing something similar called Apple pay. However, I haven’t had any experience on it or how effective it is.

I am a big fan of online shopping. I have always been doubtful about entering my bank details online. There is always that daunting feeling, when you type your details, click enter and then a massive delay to upload the next page. You just wonder what is happening? Did I enter the right number? In reality it was just slow Internet.

One day, I was searching to buy a phone case on eBay and I was given the option to pay by entering my card or use Paypal. What is Paypal? It is a simple way to pay when you buy anything online. Once you sign up with your bank details, all you had to do was enter your email and password. It would be just done in minutes and no hassle of entering bank details and security codes. It made the process so much easer and safer.

Paypal has also come up with an app for mobile devices. It has cool features for example, Order Ahead allows you to place an order on your phone, pay for it and it’s ready to collect from your designated store.No more queuing or trying to find your wallet inside your massive bag. They also have this feature call Instore. You go to the relative store which supports the app and check in. When you go to the checkout, you just tell them you want to pay via Paypal, and they process it accordingly.

Technology is growing fast and the method of payment is changing as it is growing. E-money has made transaction faster and easier for the users. From the retail point of view, it would be more accurate and cost-effective. I believe, if all the stores started accepting contactless or mobile app devices to pay, a time may come where there may be less to no use of paper money.


[1]. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/paper_money.asp