Leading the development of payment systems developed specifically for trade across the information superhighway, according to Logica, will be the mobile phone operators.
The IT services company expects wireless payment will become a way of recouping some of the massive costs involved in developing networks.
If banks and other financial players want to survive, they will have to form alliances with the phone companies and wireless service providers to meet the demands of customers who want to make fast, efficient and secure payments.
The traditional means of restitution – cash and cheques – will be replaced by emoney, with companies paying bills at the click of a button on computer, mobile phone or PDA.
This will enable almost instantaneous transfer of money from one corporate account to another, without the conventional time delays, administrative costs and interest-earning spin-offs associated with traditional banking.
One country that has recognised the potential value of emoney facilitation is Malta, which is marketing itself as the ‘world’s first dedicated emoney enterprise zone’.
Last week, John Dalli, the Maltese finance minister, launched ‘EmoneyMalta’, the island’s three-year plan to position itself as the leading centre for the management, processing and movement of money transferred electronically through mobile phones, PCs and similar devices.
Speaking to AccountancyAge.com, Dalli explained why Malta had jumped into the emoney zone. ‘Customers will be drawn to emoney because of its convenience, security and low costs. Emoney will put Malta on the map as a knowledge-based economy,’ he said.
Malta is in a good position. An e-commerce law passed this year recognised electronic signatures and contracts; it has low corporate tax rates but is not on the OECD’s tax haven blacklist; its telecommunications industry is deregulated and it has a well-educated and agile financial services sector.
EmoneyMalta is managed by the Malta Financial Services Centre. HSBC and Barclays Bank are backing the initiative as well as the island’s government, bank, financial institutions and IT businesses.
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