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Social networks, game-changer for e-money? Will social networks (e-)monetise the payments industry?

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The idea that electronic money (e-money) could change the way in which payments are made has been around for more than a decade. Despite high initial expectations, e-money has largely remained a hype and has not reached the mass consumer market. The recent boom in social networks, connecting vast networks of customers across the globe, all seeking to ‘e-monetise’ their customer base, could provide new momentum for the uptake of e-money. This paper outlines the main barriers that have limited the uptake of e-money to date. The complex ecosystem lacking global standards and requiring enhanced collaboration between mulĀ­tiple stakeholders including financial institutions, card schemes, mobile network operators, service providers and merchants, and the sometimes fragmented regulatory regimes, all have to be addressed for e-money to be successful. This paper describes why we may be at the forefront of a breakthrough in the e-money market, driven by social networks. In particular, the uptake of electronic commerce, the boom of social networks connecting families across the globe and creating opportunities for money remittance, the active presence of merchants on social networks to advertise and sell goods online. But, next to social networks, global technology enterprises are also looking into the potential of e-money services and intend to transform the e-money and wider payments industry landscape. Consequently, traditional providers should prepare for this new environment.
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Keywords: electronic money; electronic payments; electronic wallets; mobile money; money remittance; social networks

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Payments Strategy & Systems publishes peer-reviewed articles and case studies analysing best practice, emerging issues and new thinking in how to develop a profitable, customer-focused payments strategy. It examines major issues facing the corporate, wholesale and retail payments industry from a business, risk and operational perspective.

    Edited by renowned payments expert Alec Nacamuli and guided by an eminent Editorial Board, each quarterly 100-page issue provides practical, detailed analysis of developments and trends in the payments business, regulation, new entrants and technologies and how to bring them all together to define your payments strategy, as well as actionable advice and ‘lessons learned’ from fellow professionals on how payment processing systems can be leveraged to maximise profitability, security and efficiency and minimise risk. It contains no advertising and no advertorial.

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