Stored value systems are the most recent form of electronic payment technology. They are meant to coexist with credit and debit technology, by primarily targeting the low value area of the transaction market. Being targeted at low value transactions, they are designed to have very low transaction cost.
Stored value systems rely on creating a form of electronic value, on smart cards or as computer files. Such value can be bought (withdrawn) at any one time, and spent in arbitrary fractions at later times. When the technology emerged for its first implementations in the first half of the 1990s, it was much celebrated as a replacement for cash with many benefits over existing payment technologies.
Many of these systems have subsequently been set up as trials, and the commercial rollout of some systems has started. However, actual usage of stored value systems is still low, much lower than was expected by the operators of the systems. Several years after the first trials were implemented, it is still unclear whether and when they will play a relevant role in the payments system market. And none of the trials that have been run can be considered a commercial success. This makes it necessary not only to assess the technology, but also the commercial future and user uptake of these systems.
KeywordsCredit Card Smart Card Payment System Card Reader Electronic Payment
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