The role of payment card networks and the dangers of imposing price controls

Electronic payments in general and payment cards in particular are rapidly replacing cash and checks as the preferred means of making consumer as well as many business purchases. By enabling faster, more secure, traceable transactions, payment cards have been a key element in promoting greater integration of the world economy. 

 

 

Reading money

One starting point for thinking about the future of money is to consider its past. For those interested in the history of money, there is no better place to start than the works of economist Barry Eichengreen (University of California at Berkeley).

A future without money

 

The Rise of Private Money

The internet has a funny way of producing outcomes that disrupt traditional businesses, a fact widely seen in fields as diverse as communications, retail, journalism, supply chain management and increasingly finance.

 

The future of money.

Rapidly evolving technology and the most recent and ongoing financial crisis promise to significantly change the future of money. To look into the crystal ball for clues to its future, we must first agree on what money is.

The growing influence of Islamic law and its economic rules:

It is evident that the practice of Islamic banking is growing, not only in the Moslem lands but also in some European capital cities, principally London, where Sharia–compliant commerce is a growing factor in the modern banking sector. 

 

Towards a global asset-backed currency

There is an urgent need to rethink the basis of the world’s monetary arrangements. The end of the dollar standard is in sight. Its end will be hastened if the deadlock in Congress on US fiscal policy continues. Also, the dollar’s reserve currency role is already dangerously over-extended.

Why gold?

In 1971 President Nixon delinked the dollar from gold, putting an end to the Bretton Woods System that had ruled the world’s monetary systems since the end of World War II.

Germany in the European (dis)Union

Germany faces a European dilemma. It is the only country that is able to lead Europe out of the euro crisis, but its prescribed medicine of fiscal discipline, free market competitiveness and long, hard work, rather than inflation fuelled, debt financed growth, has too much of a German ring to it to be popular with other member states.

The Technology of Money

Nairobi – Some years ago, DFID – the UK Department for International Development – partnered with Vodafone to develop a secure software platform for performing a number of basic payment functions on mobile phones.