Money Transfer Technologies

Advances in technology and the development of the Internet are changing the way people transfer money. With all these technological developments, moving money is simpler than before. Earlier, transferring money meant a visit to the bank. But that is no longer needed as there are various technologies in play to make money transfer easy and convenient.

Alternative Payment Services: Several websites allow you to transfer money through email, eliminating the need to reveal your bank account and credit card information online. Although online transfers have wide online security and fraud-prevention measures, they are not foolproof. Complaints like phishing scams, hacked accounts and identity theft are quite common.

Donation Texts: The use of text messages to transfer money became popular, when the American Red Cross used this technology to raise over $22 million in hurricane relief fund for Haiti. On the flip side, this technology is risky and scammers misuse this tool by asking people to text money to illegitimate numbers. Always check the organization’s website to confirm that the number you are texting is associated with the cause are supporting.

Bumping Phones: Mobile phones are fast replacing the wallet and on-the-go digital money transfers are becoming commonplace. Now, you can send and receive money by just bumping Smartphones together. Technologies include Bluetooth and near field communication (NFC, a set of procedures that allow Smartphones to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them close to each other at a distance of 10 cm or less). Though, the risk of unauthorised payments from a stolen phone is yet to completely be addressed.

Remote Deposit: This technology allows you to deposit cheques from anywhere. Many Smartphone applications allow you to take a photo of the front and back of a cheque and download it into your account. While this process is secure, there may be concerns about the consequences if the phone is stolen or if financial information is intercepted. The remote cheques are not stored on the phone, and the data is encoded as it goes from the mobile phone to the bank’s computer system.

Mobile Magnetic Stripe Readers: These are small scanners that can be attached to Smartphones. Busy individuals, can just swipe credit cards on the scanner and the money is transferred.

Money transfer technologies are a definite and smart way to save time and energy when conducting financial transactions. The ideal way to protect your money is to research and choose the best option that is safe and one that will fit your needs.

Why Digital Currency Outweighs Fiat Currency

Everything is at fast paced because of the innovation brought by technology. It actually helps in a lot of industries, especially on the business side. One of the trends that technology has contributed is Digital Currency.

It is an internet based form of currency or medium of exchange. It can be associated with traditional currency, Forex exchange and remittances, because of the similarity of their functions which is primarily on buying physical goods and on paying services.

There are times when it is mistaken with Virtual Currency. The latter, which is defined by the European Central Bank as “a type of unregulated, digital money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers, and used and accepted among the members of a specific virtual community”, is different from Digital Currency because it does not have all the attributes of real currency. Virtual currencies cannot be used to buy physical goods and cannot be converted into traditional or fiat currencies.

This can also be used with in-person payment at physical establishments and can also be converted into fiat currency, with minimum fees to no fees. According to, Fiat Money is declared by the government to be a legal tender and is not backed by a physical commodity. Its value can also be derived from the relationship between supply and demand. Moreover, it allows the instantaneous transaction and borderless transfer-of-ownership, which is better compared with Fiat currency.

Fiat currencies are limited by their geographic regions. This concern is solved by digital currencies because these are international currencies with no borders, and is only possible online. Users will no longer have to pay increased cost in international payments and money transfers because they can directly transfer funds, pay bills, and buy goods through digital currency. Also, dealers cannot charge extra fees on the consumer without their knowledge.

Digital money transfers are also faster compared to traditional wire transfers that can take a long time to process. Digital transactions can take just about a few minutes to complete, depending on the transaction process of the platform. Also, it is more convenient compared to over-the-counter bank transactions which have limited time and takes a lot of processes to take before it can be completed.

Security is also better with digital currency. It uses a certain system which let the user take hold of their accounts, making them autonomous and self-regulatory. Information can be backed up and encrypted to guarantee the safety of your money. Unlike fiat currencies that are controlled by the government, some digital platforms do not have central authority regulating them. Some digital currencies, like Ripple and Radar, are still monitored and checked by specific individuals and/or companies. These are also attractive to those who prefer private financial dealings because most of the digital currency systems are untraceable to individuals and companies.

It also reduces the possibility of credit card fraud. Personal customer information and credit card numbers can be stolen and be used to make possible unauthorized purchases. Since it is a purely digital transaction, the receiver of the payment has no access on the personal information of the sender, and information fraud can be avoided.

This trend offers many advantages that cannot be found on fiat currencies. In fact, it has a lot of improvements points to make, but if you are looking for easier, more convenient, and more secure transactions, it will surely be a better option than traditional transactions.

The Future of Digital Currencies

“Ah but it’s Digital now”. “Digital” a word whose origins lie in the latin digitalis, from digitus (“finger, toe”); now it’s use is synonymous with computers and televisions, cameras, music players, watches, etc, etc, etc. But what of digital money or even digital democracy?

The printing press caused a revolution in its time, hailed as a democratic force for good by many. Books available to the masses was indeed a revolution; and now we also have e-books and technological devices to read them with. The fact that the original words have been encoded into a numerical form and decoded back to words electronically does not mean we trust less the words we are reading, but we may still prefer the aesthetics of a physical book than a piece of high-tech plastic which needs to have its battery charged to keep working. Can digital currencies such as bitcoin really provide a contribution to positive social change in as spectacular a way?

To answer this we must ask what of money, how are we to understand it, use it and incorporate it into a sustainable model of a ‘better world for all?’ Money, unlike any other form of property, is unique in that it may be used for anything prior to an event even occurring. It implies nothing, yet can be used for great good or great evil, and yet it is only what it is despite its many manifestations and consequences. It is a unique but much misunderstood and misused commodity. Money has the simplicity of facilitating buying and selling, and a mathematical complexity as demonstrated by the financial markets; and yet it has no notion of egalitarianism, moral or ethical decision making. It acts as an autonomous entity, yet it is both endogenous and exogenous to the global community. It has no personality and is easily replaceable, yet it is treated as a finite resource in the global context, its growth governed by a set of complex rules which determine the way in which it may behave. Yet despite this the outcomes are never completely predictable and, furthermore; a commitment to social justice and an aversion to moral turpitude is not a requirement of its use.

In order for a currency to effectively perform the financial functions required of it, the intrinsic-value of money has to be a commonly held belief by those who use it. In November 2013 the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs acknowledged that virtual currencies are a legitimate means of payment, an example of such is Bitcoin. Due to the very low transaction fees charged by the ‘Bitcoin network’ it offers a very real way to allow the transfer of funds from migrant workers sending money back to their families without having to pay high transfer fees currently charged by companies. A European Commission calculated that if the global average remittance of 10% were reduced to 5% (the ‘5×5’ initiative endorsed by the G20 in 2011), this could result in an additional US$ 17 billion flowing into developing countries; the use of the blockchain would reduce these fees near to zero. These money transfer companies who extract wealth from the system may become dis-intermediated through the use of such an infrastructure.

Probably the most important point to note about cryptocurrencies is the distributed and decentralised nature of their networks. With the growth of the Internet, we are perhaps just seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in respect of future innovations which may exploit undiscovered potential for allowing decentralisation but at a hitherto unseen or unimaginable scale. Thus, whereas in the past, when there was a need for a large network it was only achievable using a hierarchical structure; with the consequence of the necessity of surrendering the ‘power’ of that network to a small number of individuals with a controlling interest. It might be said that Bitcoin represents the decentralisation of money and the move to a simple system approach. Bitcoin represents as significant an advancement as peer-to-peer file sharing and internet telephony (Skype for example).

There is very little explicitly produced legal regulation for digital or virtual currencies, however there are a wide range of existing laws which may apply depending on the country’s legal financial framework for: Taxation, Banking and Money Transmitting Regulation, Securities Regulation, Criminal and/or civil law, Consumer Rights/Protection, Pensions Regulation, Commodities and stocks regulation, and others. So the two key issues facing bitcoin are whether it can be considered as legal tender, and if as an asset then it is classed as property. It is common practice for nation-states to explicitly define currency as legal tender of another nation-state (e.g. US$), preventing them from recognising other ‘currencies’ formally as currency. A notable exception to this is Germany which allows for the concept of a ‘unit of account’ that can therefore be used as a form of ‘private money’ and can be used in ‘multilateral clearing circles. In the other circumstance of being considered as property the obvious discrepancy here is that, unlike property, digital currencies have the capacity of divisibility into much smaller amounts. Developed, open economies are generally permissive to digital currencies. The USA has issued the most guidance and is highly represented on the map below. Capital controlled economies are effectively by definition contentious or hostile. As for many African and a few other countries the topic has not yet been addressed.

Starting from the principles of democratic participation it is immediately apparent that bitcoin does not satisfy the positive social impact component of such an objective in so far as its value is not one it can exert influence over but is subject to market-forces. However any ‘new’ crypto-currency may offer democratic participation when the virtual currency has different rules of governance and issuance based upon more socially based democratic principles.

So what if a “digital” currency could provide a valid alternative to existing forms of money in performing the role of contributing positively to: the goals of promoting a socially inclusive culture, the equality of opportunity and the promotion of mutualism; which as their very name implies are alternative and/or complementary to an official or national sovereign currency? Virtual cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are a new and emerging dynamic in the system; though in their infancy, the pace of innovation in the field of cryptocurrencies had been dramatic.

There are many factors which determine the ‘effectiveness’ of money to bring about positive social and environmental change; pervading political ideology, economic environment, the desire of local communities and individuals to pursue alternative social outcomes whilst seeking to maximise economic opportunity, building of social capital, and many others. If a local digital currency could be designed to build extra resilience into a local economy and improve economic outcomes then introduction on a more widespread basis merits investigation. When the current economic system fails to deliver it is manifested in such ways as: increased social isolation, higher crime rates, physical dereliction, poor health, a lack of a sense of community, amongst other undesirable social impacts.

The future is digital?