Monday, January 17, 2011

The ultimate payment is trackable value transfer

Have you ever given some thought on why bank-notes have numbers and coins not? Some of the coins in circulation in certain economies are worth much more than numbered notes in other economies. So it cannot just be a cost consideration. I was thinking about this when I read the article about placing a unique digital identification inside a banknote (Read here).

A definite need exists to be able to track where money goes and how it is being used. (Not that I think that a unique number for each bank-note really does this). Electronic payments, though, do have the ability to make every payment unique. Rather than investing into making bank-notes more "trackable" should one not invest in electronic payment systems?

1 comment:

Maxime C. said...

You're right.
But I think it is also why electronic payment systems will fail to totally replace cash.
People use cash for many reasons, and one of them is the leak of traceability.
Privacy is important in our society. An electronic payment system which offer the same anonymity than cash for small amounts could reach that goal. I'm not sure it will otherwise.