A computer mouse resting on a bundle of euro banknotes, representing electronic money or e-money, respectively

What Is E-Money – Definitions, Processes, Challenges

E-money, short for Electronic Money, is the electronic alternative to cash. Since it started as a concept in the 1980s and rose to prominence during the Dot-Com era, it has acted as one of the biggest game-changers in the financial industry. In a matter of only four years, from 2014 to 2018, the number of electronic money transactions in Europe alone doubled to more than 4 billion. 

This aspiring form of money deserves our attention. To provide a starting point, this article will give an overview of: 

  • The definition of e-money as a whole
  • The subtle distinctions in its applications
  • The process of electronic payment with e-money
  • The potential downsides of e-money
  • And finally, e-money licencing and who should apply for such a license  

Let’s start!

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A wallet, money and a computer cooling system, symbolizing the rapid real-time payments of SCT Inst

From SCT Inst to EPI – How European Banking Is Changing

Matthias Gall, co-founder of trimplement
trimplement co-founder Matthias Gall traces the origin of the SCT Inst scheme and gives an outlook.

Having followed the European financial press in recent years, chances are you stumbled across the term SCT Inst. This seven letter abbreviation hints at an ambitious banking project that has sharpened the competitive edge of the European financial market: Instant, multi-national payments. 

The SCT Inst scheme was introduced to enable rapid, real-time payments between banks and financial institutions located in different European countries. As such, SCT Inst acts as a stepping stone for more banking projects bound to happen further down the timeline (like the European Payment Initiative or EPI). 

As you are reading this, SCT Inst has already taken hold in banking. But still, banks can feel the challenges it has presented to them. 

Let’s see what we are dealing with.

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A software developer working on coding a payment gateway

How to Develop a Payment Gateway

Online marketplaces are complex systems. That’s true all the more when you decide to equip them with a custom payment gateway you developed (and there are many good reasons why you should do so). 

As a development company, offering CoreWallet, a software foundation for payment and ewallet applications, we are familiar with the complexity of creating payment gateways.  It’s important to approach the development process with a clear plan. To help you master the technical challenges, we have compiled the common stages of such a payment gateway project for you. And we’ve also collected a few best practices. 

So, let’s walk the walk. Let’s build a payment gateway. 

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Two businessmen lining out a payment gateway for their online marketplace and other platforms of the platform economy.

Empowering the Platform Economy

aye4fin Managing Partner Thomas Tittelbach, presenting 5 important topics when creating payment gateways on a business level.
Thomas Tittelbach, Managing Partner at aye4fin gives you a detailed overview of how to approach building a payment gateway from a business perspective.

E-commerce is a growing market – but it’s not taking place entirely within single online shops. By far not. Online marketplace environments have cemented their presence all over the web, be they specialized in dealing with certain types of goods or all-in-one digital warehouses. In addition to retail, service platforms and even comparison portals have found their niches as well. In short: We live in the age of the platform economy – driven by smooth-flowing online payment solutions.

Yet sometimes the last part is more wishful thinking than reality. Payment processing requires a payment gateway designed for the specific transaction flows, which occur in marketplaces. And if you want to design such a well-functioning solution yourself, you can turn it into a business case on its own.

Of course, there are things to keep in mind, from a business perspective. In this second part of our Article Series on Payment Gateway Building, we give you an overview of those. Here are five topics to consider when building payment gateways for marketplace platforms.

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A point-of-sale for credit cards symbolizing the developments in the digital payment industry of 2019

2019: The Year in Payments

Matthias Gall, co-founder of trimplement
Matthias Gall looks back on the developments in payments of 2019

When I sat down to write my article on innovation in fintech and payments last year, I was a little disappointed about what I saw in Europe, as you can probably tell from the article. I decided to look somewhere else instead and found more innovation on the African continent.

This year, though, things are looking a bit different: pressure to innovate keeps rising in Europe. When it comes to payments in Europe, there might be light at the end of the tunnel.

Let’s start with one theme that manifested itself throughout the last couple of years.

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A gravestone, showing a list of numbers resembling an iTAN list, standing as a symbol for the demise of the iTAN procedures due to the PSD2 Open Banking regulations

iTAN – An Obituary

Here lies iTAN. 

On September 14th 2019, after a lingering and worsening case of backwardness, it passed away. It joined the likes of videotex and MeChip in the peaceful hereafter of online banking.

Alas, poor iTAN, we knew you. 

In your brief existence of only 14 years, you have put your mark on the whole banking industry. And on myriads of printed lists. Precious times we have spent on your behalf, poring over papers, grubbing for that one golden number to end our insecurity – and get those funds transferred from our budget account to our savings account. 

You, iTAN, have managed to rise above its forebears, ending the whateverism of the old TAN dynasty. And yet, you had trouble keeping a stiff upper lip in the face of all those hyperactive neo banking millenials. You passed with dignity.

Farewell, iTAN. We will miss you.

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A cell phone showing the facebook app UI, in which the term Project Libra is searched for

Opinion: Libra – Facebook’s Attempt to Establish a World Currency

Introduction

Photo of Mark Caruso, Senior Project Manager at trimplement
Mark Caruso, Senior Project Manager at trimplement, gives and outlook on  Facebook’s Libra currency.

Since project Libra was revealed by Facebook two weeks ago, it sparked controversial discussions around its potential as an international currency, its presumed economic impact, and its technical implementation. In this article I will try to shed some light on the technical and the economic sides of the project, to see whether Libra has the required momentum to become Facebook ́s next-generation revenue booster and a meaningful (and powerful) currency for the masses. 

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A world map with a paper ship, symbolizing the world of payment.

Payment Around the World – Part 3

Asia, India, the Middle East

Payment around the world – where were we? In the previous articles of this series, we devoted ourselves to different payment landscapes of the globe. And with the trends and challenges, we found there.

But no matter which region we looked at: All of them stood on the verge of digital transformation or have crossed that line. China and the USA press ahead in terms of payment innovation, as we have seen in our second article. In other countries, digital payments are still in the process of taking hold in the populace. The changes they bring have already become apparent. Digital payment services play the role of an equalizer, especially for the unbanked people. Developments in Africa‘s and Latin America’s payment landscape, as detailed in the first article of this series, stand as an example for this.

We will see if those tendencies manifest in the last waypoints of our journey, too. So, let’s move on, shall we?  

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A picture of two piggy banks, symbolizing financial literacy and financial education in Germany

More Than Pocket Money – Financial Education in Germany

Financial education. It starts with simple questions. Just like this one:

For her 9th birthday, Emma asks her parents to put money on a savings account, instead of buying her presents. She rather wants to celebrate her next birthday in style, with party assets worth 200€. At a yearly interest rate of 5%, how many Euros must be put into the account to fulfill Emma’s birthday wish?

Sound familiar, such questions, right? We all had to answer a fair share of them in math class during 8th grade. Looking at them today, they still are tricky to answer for many of us. And you would have to explain your child, that putting €4000 on a savings account tears a big hole in your financial planning. And only under the premise that you would find a bank providing 5% interest on savings accounts. Which you wouldn’t. Emma, who already showed prudence in her financial behaviour not normally seen in her contemporaries, still has to face some hard truths.

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A compass resting on a world map, symbolizing the world of payment

Payment Around the World – Part 2

USA, Canada, Australia, China

When exploring the payment preferences of the world, you have to go places. In the first part of our article series, those places were Europe, Russia, Latin America, and Africa.

The takeaway: Hard cash dies hard in many parts of the world like Germany, Hungary, Russia, and Brazil. But digital payment services have taken up the fight. They give new options to emerging countries with vast numbers of unbanked people. Mobile access to finances and digital-only money accounts help integrate the unbanked, so they can become proactive contributors to the financial system.

But it’s a large world with a great number of payment landscapes still waiting to be sketched. In this article, we will take a good look at the clashing fintech forerunners USA and China, as well as Canada and Oceania. So, let’s go!

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