Money makes the world go round, so they say. Perhaps every single activity done by every single person in the world involves money — without it, the system as we know it would go in shambles.
Technology has been following the same pattern. It also has been changing lives day by day by improving our daily activities, may they be communication, household and office work, or transportation. It has become a dire part of our lives before we even noticed.
Money and technology have done a lot to serve us, indeed. What more when they are fused as one?
E-cash has made that happen.
What is e-cash?
E-cash is short for electronic cash and is also called electronic money or digital currency in other variations.
David Chaum paved the way of this innovation through his research paper published in 1983, where he introduced the idea of anonymous electronic money, which is money stored digitally in a software installed locally in the user’s computer.
This money could then be used to pay for services that accept e-cash — without users having to open accounts or to send credit card numbers. Cryptographic signatures from banks and public key digital signatures assured the security of the process.
Later on in 1990, Chaum founded DigiCash, a business venture that built on his idea of the electronic cash system. It was met with lack of user interest, with only one bank in the United States offering e-cash and 5,000 people who registered on its three-year trial. The bank had to be sold to another bank (which, ironically, was big on issuing credit cards), and DigiCash had to declare bankruptcy in 1998.
However in Europe, where there was less credit card usage and more actual cash transactions, the potential of e-cash system flourished as numerous European banks implemented it in their own establishments.
Private entities followed suit — Coca-Cola offered mobile payments in their vending machines in 1997, PayPal was established in 1998, Q coins or QQ coins were introduced by Chinese company Tencent in their own QQ messaging platform in 2005, and bitcoin was launched in 2008.
How is e-cash useful?
There are now countless establishments that offer e-cash — even money transfer centers and convenience shops have joined the trend. The impact of e-cash, indeed, has been proven over time.
1. We save effort, time and money as users
With a number of products and services offering e-cash as an option for payments, we don’t need to carry that much money with us anymore when we go out. We even have the option of not going out altogether, with online products and services also offering e-cash payments, as well.
This also applies to banks that offer online services, as well, particularly electronic money transfers. All these, in turn, reduces safety risks of carrying huge amounts of money anywhere and eliminates the cost of trips to stores and banks.
2. Businesses sell faster
Users will naturally prefer fast and efficient methods to do anything — a 2014 survey conducted by Bankrate shows that more than 75% carry less than $50 with them everyday, which infers that they now prefer to conduct their financial transactions electronically.
Businesses also naturally follow user preference — offering e-cash payment methods will attract more customers and more sales.
3. E-cash is convenient for small-amount money transactions
These usually involve paying for online content subscriptions, website visits, download fees and others.
The credit card method, which is commonly used for online transactions, charges relatively hefty processing fees, which deems impractical when amounts transacted are small. E-cash, however, offers little to no processing fees.
4. It adapts well with economic globalization
A lot of companies and freelancers now conduct business with one another wherever they may be in the world. With e-cash, it’s now easy for them to send or receive payments and for money to circulate all around the globe.
Will you be using e-cash?
As a great innovation contributed by tech, e-cash will certainly be of good service to the community. However, it still is money, so dealing with it still needs extra caution.
With this, it’s also helpful that we make use of e-cash services that are secure, reliable and trustworthy. Gomigu, the newest messaging app in the Philippines, is soon offering GomiguPay, a service that converts our money to Gomigu Points which we can use to conduct online money transactions.
Watch out for it in the Gomigu app soon!