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Foreign Exchange

Technology in treasury management: Review of developments in payment systems 2010

Banks and regulators want a move to more cost-effective, attractive and easy-to-use payment systems. But the solutions they offer must also be attractive for consumers and businesses. By Jack and Wolfi Large.

Also in this section:
Cheques
SEPA and PSD
Mass payments and collections
Payment cards
Mobile phones/Cellphones
Online micropayments
Future of payment systems


The ability to make and collect payments is vital to business. No payments, no business. But with new payment systems and services constantly being developed and launched around the world it no longer makes sense for banks to continue to provide, or for businesses to continue to use, all of them. The problem, for companies, governments and banks, is which to maintain and which not.

Changes in payment system usage

Changes in the usage of payment systems usually happen very slowly, with the vast majority of payments now and for the foreseeable future remaining domestic. Even in Europe, where there are a large number of small countries, it is estimated only around 4% of payments are cross-border.

In terms of transactions, cash continues to dominate, used for considerably more than 60% of all transactions globally. In terms of value, however, non-cash payment systems, particularly in developed countries, now take more than 50%, though usage varies considerably by country.

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