上海律师杨春宝主持的法律专业网站群: 法律桥 :: 会见律师网 :: 公司投资律师 :: 创业与法律 :: 律师博客 :: 法律论坛 :: Law Bridge
聘请律师: 法律顾问 :: 公司法律师 :: 投资律师 :: 房地产律师 :: 知识产权律师 :: 电信网络律师 :: 法律服务热线:13901826830(杨春宝律师)
主持律师 会见公司投资律师 会见房地产律师
联盟律师 会见知识产权律师 会见电信网络律师
最新文章
·我国域名管理新办法行将施行
·域名及其管理若干法律问题研究
·网络时代的国际商事仲裁
·电子货币及相关法律、监管问题
·从全球范围看域名法律问题
·《互联网上网服务营业场所管理条例
·电信网络法律期刊
·电子空间(cyberspace)的发展与规制
·电信经营许可收紧了?
·简析域名纠纷适用法律的司法解释
推荐文章
·我国域名管理新办法行将施行
·域名及其管理若干法律问题研究
·网络时代的国际商事仲裁
·电子货币及相关法律、监管问题
·从全球范围看域名法律问题
·《互联网上网服务营业场所管理条例
·电子空间(cyberspace)的发展与规制
·电信经营许可收紧了?
·简析域名纠纷适用法律的司法解释
·重构科学统一的域名管理体系(《电
最热文章
·电子货币及相关法律、监管问题
·域名及其管理若干法律问题研究
·电子空间(cyberspace)的发展与规制
·《互联网上网服务营业场所管理条例
·从全球范围看域名法律问题
·简析域名纠纷适用法律的司法解释
·网络时代的国际商事仲裁
·我国域名管理新办法行将施行
·电信网络法律期刊
·电信经营许可收紧了?
 
相关文章
·我国域名管理新办法行将施行
·域名及其管理若干法律问题研究
·网络时代的国际商事仲裁
·电子货币及相关法律、监管问题
·从全球范围看域名法律问题
·《互联网上网服务营业场所管理条例
·电信网络法律期刊
·电子空间(cyberspace)的发展与规制
·电信经营许可收紧了?
·简析域名纠纷适用法律的司法解释
相关专题
·湖南郴州李毅律师
·山东济南邹维高律师
·山东潍坊张吉全律师
·江西吉安李海军律师
·广东广州江秀峰律师
·上海马辉律师
您的位置:会见律师网>>电信网络法>>法律研究>>文章内容
 
电子货币及相关法律、监管问题

作者:杨春宝律师 来自:法律桥 时间:2004-12-19 20:40:20

您是本文第  位阅读者  【字体:放大 正常 缩小


II. Electronic Money

1. What is money?

Money is a medium that people are willing to accept for the goods, securities, and services that they sell. Money serves three purposes.10 First, as just mentioned, it serves as a medium of exchange. Second, as a standard of value, it serves as a measure for the value of a good or service and thus provides a standard for making comparisons between different goods and services. Finally, it functions as a store of value, thus it can be saved and used in the future.

In order to realize its three functions, money possesses certain characteristics which allow it to enable transactions. First, it must be durable to function as a store of value. In other words, when money is not spent, it is retrievable. However, if it is destroyed, stolen, or otherwise lost, it is not replaceable. Second, it must be difficult for individuals to create or counterfeit money. Public trust in money's legitimacy is an essential element of its successful use as a medium of exchange. Third, it must be widely accepted. The larger the community of users who trust and accept money, the more that its value as a medium of exchange is increased. Finally, when it is exchanged, there is anonymity.11

2. What is electronic money?

E-banking as well as e-money are rather generic terms and we need to specify what we are talking about. It is well accepted that e-banking can be separated into two streams: one is e-money products, mainly in the form of stored value products, the other is electronic delivery channel products or access products. The latter are products that allow consumers to use electronic means of communication to access conventional payment services, for example, use of a standard personal computer and a computer network such as the Internet to make a credit card payment or to transmit instructions to make funds transfers between bank accounts. The significant novel feature of these access schemes is the communication method and so they do not raise the same concerns as e-money schemes and are not considered further in this article.

As e-money is still at the early stage of development, there is still no unified definition of e-money. Different person even different bodies have described and categorized e-money products in different ways. The European Commission defined electronic money in its Draft Directive as:12

a. Stored electronically on an electronic device such as a chip card or a computer memory;

b. Accepted as means of payment by undertakings other than the issuing institution;

c. Generated in order to be put at the disposal of users to serve as an electronic surrogate for coins and banknotes; and

d. Generated for the purpose of effecting electronic transfers of limited value payments.

The Consumer Advisory Board of the Federal Reserve Board of the USA described that e-money is money that moves electronically. It can be carried on the persons in the form of a smart card or stored-value cards or electronic wallets. It can be used at the point of sale or it can be used person-to-person directly without the intervention of any outside entity. It can be moved around or spent through telephone lines to banks or other provides or issuers. It can also be moved around or spent through links with interactive cable television and personal computers.13

From the above definition and description, we can conclude that e-money is a "stored-value" or "prepaid" payment mechanism in which a record of the funds or "value" available to a consumer is stored on an electronic device in the consumer's possession. The electronic value is purchased by the consumer and is reduced whenever it is transferred directly to other devices, or the consumer uses the device to make purchases via point of sale terminals or over open computer networks such as the Internet. In contrast to the many existing single-purpose prepaid card schemes (such as prepaid telephone cards), e-money products are intended to be used as a general, multipurpose means of payment.

It is clear that e-money includes both prepaid cards (sometimes called “smart cards? or “electronic purses? and prepaid software products that use computer networks such as the Internet (sometimes referred to as “digital cash?. The most common e-money products are card-based products, industry leaders in this sector being Mondex and VISA Cash. While the Dutch company Digicash first pioneered the software approach. There have been dozens of other e-money products and systems introduced to the public, such as CyberCash, Millicent, Proton, PayPal, eMoneyMail, BillPoint, Payme.com, PayTrust and Propay.14 Although each of them has some different features, they can be included in the above-said two general categories. While each of these products are efficient and innovative, however, so far, most have attracted customers only in limited consumer and business applications. So, I would like to describe below briefly how the major e-money products work.

Mondex was initially invented in 1990 and based in London, it is currently under development in more than 75 countries around the world. It contains a microprocessor chip that could hold and transfer electronic value. By utilising bearer certificates, funds deposited are remotely stored on the users actual card, which is not linked to any central account. In addition, the electronic wallet that accompanied the card allows the value on the card to be transferred from person-to-person indefinitely without any central verification or clearing requirement, making it the closest in operation to real cash. It also has the additional ability to store the recent payment history.15

The Visa Cash is similar to Mondex. However Visa Cash payments are routed through a central facility and cannot be transferred from card to card with the same degree of ease. One major point in its favour is its appeal to banks as it allows them to earn float income, therefore Visa Cash is more attractive from a purely commercial point of view.16

The Digicash Company was based in the Netherlands after being established in 1990 by David Chaum.17 The e-money product of the company was called “eCash? To use eCash, an account should be established at a DigiCash-licensed bank with real money. Once established, the customer can withdraw eCash that is stored on the user computer's hard drive. Using proprietary software, eCash can be spent with an Internet merchant or with anyone else whose computer is set up to deal in eCash. However all such transactions must be made through an intermediary bank. One of the cornerstones of the Digicash system is its insistence on the maintenance of privacy. The system uses “blind signatures?as the way for the issuing bank to certify each token it issues. The actual process requires the customer, not the bank, to generate the eCash token. The customer creates blank tokens and forwards them (hidden in a digital envelope) to the bank for certification. The bank stamps its signature on each token, debits the customers account and sends the token back over the Internet.18 So the digital tokens can be registered and verified by the issuer without revealing to whom it was originally issued. In effect, these digital cash transactions are capable of being as anonymous as cash. Because the system is software based, it is therefore relatively easy to duplicate certified eCash tokens. Therefore to guard against this, any eCash presented for payment is crosschecked with the central registrar to ensure it has not already been spent. It seems it is impractical for most merchants and customers and this has limited its application in the market.

With regard to their potential use and growth, card-based products are being designed to facilitate small-value payments in face-to-face retail transactions and would therefore constitute a close substitute for banknotes and coin. While software-based schemes would be used to make remote payments over computer networks, primarily the Internet. They are likely to substitute for both cash and, to some extent, other cashless payment instruments such as cheques and funds transfers.

3. The key features of e-money

In general, e-money should be characterized as a substitute for currency. As mentioned above, it is a replacement for currency as well as other payment mechanisms such as checks, credit cards, traveler's checks, and debit cards. The key features of e-money are as follows:

Firstly, e-money value is stored electronically on an electronic device, although different products differ in their technical implementation. To store the prepaid value, card-based schemes involve a specialised and portable computer hardware device, typically a microprocessor chip embedded in a plastic card, while software-based schemes use specialised software installed on a standard personal computer.

Secondly, e-money value is transferred electronically in different ways. Some e-money schemes allow transfers of electronic balances directly from one consumer to another without any involvement of a third party such as the issuer of the electronic value. More usually, the only payments allowed are those from consumers to merchants, and the merchants in turn have to redeem the value recorded.

Thirdly, related to transferability is the extent to which transactions are recorded. Most schemes register some details of transactions between consumers and merchants in a central database, which could then be monitored. In cases where direct consumer-to-consumer transactions are allowed, these can only be recorded on consumers' own storage devices and can be monitored centrally only when the consumer contacts the e-money scheme operator.

Fourthly, the number of participants and parties functionally involved in e-money transactions tends to be greater than in conventional transactions. Typically, four types of service provider will be involved in the operation of an e-money scheme: the issuers of the e-money value, the network operators, the vendors of specialised hardware and software and the clearers of e-money transactions. The issuers are the most important providers, while the network operators and vendors only supply technical services, and clearing institutions are typically banks or specialised bank-owned companies that provide a service that is no different from that provided for other cashless payment instruments.

Finally, technical hitches and human errors may hinder or prevent the execution of a transaction to a degree not commonly experienced in relation to paper based transactions.

4. The impacts of e-money on banks

Electronic payment media are likely to figure importantly in the development of electronic commerce, and retail electronic banking services and products, including e-money, could provide significant new opportunities for banks. E-banking and e-money may allow banks to expand their markets for traditional deposit-taking and credit extension activities, and to offer new products and services or strengthen their competitive position in offering existing payment services. In addition, e-banking and e-money could reduce operating costs for banks.

More broadly, the continued development of e-banking and e-money may contribute to improving the efficiency of the banking and payment system and to reducing the cost of retail transactions nationally and internationally. This could potentially result in gains in productivity and economic welfare. It is estimated that an ATM transaction costs about $0.27, a teller generated transaction in a financial institution costs about $1.07,19 and the average cost of swiping a credit card ranges from $0.08 to $0.15.20 While the cost of dipping a smart card, which requires no closed proprietary or open network to transmit its electrons from chip to chip, is less than $0.01, it is widely believed that software-based transactions will cost even less. Moreover, banks pay for their ATMs, and consumers pay for their PCs.21

In addition, e-banks are easy to set up so lots of new entrants will arrive. ‘Old-world? systems, cultures and structures will not encumber these new entrants. Instead, they will be adaptable and responsive. Therefore, e-banking gives consumers much more choice. Consumers and merchants may be able to increase the efficiency and enjoy greater convenience. E-money may also increase access to the financial system for consumers who have previously found access limited.

However, the development of e-banking and e-money is also a new challenge to traditional banks. As mentioned above, e-money transactions are much cheaper than ever. This could turn yesterday’s competitive advantage (a large branch network) into a comparative disadvantage, allowing e-banks to undercut bricks-and-mortar banks. On the other hand, e-banking will lead to an erosion of the ‘endowment effect?currently enjoyed by the major traditional banks. Deposits will go elsewhere with the consequence that these banks will have to fight to regain and retain their customer base. This will increase their cost of funds, possibly making their business less viable. Lost revenue may even result in these banks taking more risks to breach the gap. Portal providers are likely to attract the most significant share of banking profits.

Furthermore, the e-money products will be provided by monolines, experts in their field. Traditional banks may simply be left with payment and settlement business, even this could be cast into doubt. Traditional banks will find it difficult to evolve. Not only will they be unable to make acquisitions for cash as opposed to being able to offer shares, they will be unable to obtain additional capital from the stock market. This is in contrast to the situation for Internet firms for whom it seems relatively easy to attract investment.
[首页]    [上一页]    [下一页]    [末页]    

发送给好友】【刷新本页】【打印本页】【关闭窗口】【本页顶部

  发表评论须知:
  • 请注意文明用语,请勿人身攻击。
  • 请尊重网上道德,遵守中华人民共和国各项相关法律法规。
  • 您应当对因您的行为而直接或间接导致的民事或刑事法律责任负责。
  • 本站有权在网站内转载或引用您的评论。
  • 网站管理员有权删除违反上述提示的评论。
  • 法律咨询请勿在此提出,咨询请去律师论坛
  • 参与本评论即表明您已经阅读并接受上述条款。
会员名称:
匿名用户 ·注册用户·忘记密码?
密码:
评论内容:
(最多300个字符)
  查看评论

本站声明:本站所载之法律论文、法律评论、案例、法律咨询等,除非另有注明,著作权人均为站长杨春宝律师本人。欢迎其他网站链接,但是,未经站长书面许可,不得擅自摘编、转载。引用及经许可转载时均应注明出处“会见律师网”,并链接本站。本站网址:http://www.meetlawyer.com/.

本站所有内容(包括法律咨询)仅供参考,不构成法律意见,站长不对资料的完整性和时效性负责。您在处理具体法律事务时,请洽询有资质的律师。本站将努力为广大网友提供更好的服务,但不对本站提供的任何免费服务作出正式的承诺。本站所载投稿文章,其言论不代表本站观点,如需使用,请与原作者联系,版权归原作者所有。