The rise of technology and a lack of trust in conventional banks is changing money. The conventional banknotes and coins that are currently used are being challenged by alternatives such as crypto-currencies: digital currencies that use codes for security. Organisations such as Bitcoin could revolutionise how we purchase goods and services in the future.
Bitcoin (read more)
This is a peer-to-peer digital currency used to exchange goods and services online without fees. It is currently unregulated.
You may have heard of mining for coins – this involved a computer completing math problems to mine a coin. The coin is shared with everyone who helped mine it and is divided up based on how much you contributed to the process. Mining WAS the primary method for people to obtain coins as you could use your normal laptop to do it. However – as each coin gets mined, the requirement for the next increases. Nowadays, you and your laptop would LOSE MONEY if you tried to mine as the speed at which you would accrue the coin would be offset by your increased energy (electric) costs. Some people buy mining rigs that are specially made for the task but they take HUGE amounts of energy, get very loud and hot and cost £1000’s of pounds to buy.
There are websites called “faucets” which give fractions of a coin out for watching adverts but these are slow! Again you’ll probably lose more money in electric than you’d make in this method.
Between Nov 10th and Dec 7th, bitcoin’s price has increased by 140%!! REAL LIFE: In 2013 a man threw his hard drive out when it broke but forgot about the 7500 bitcoins he had on there. The hard drive is still in a landfill in Wales! read more (worth £4m at the point the article was written) And the follow up from this 2017: read more (now worth £68m!)
VIDEO- Watch this for an introduction to Bitcoin
If you are interested in more, click here.
M-PESA (read more)
The M stands for Mobile and PESA means money in Swahili. This is the product name of a mobile-phone based money transfer service for Safaricom, which is a Vodafone affiliate. It is designed to enable users to complete basic banking transactions without the need to visit a bank branch. The continuing success of M-PESA in Kenya has been due to the creation of a highly popular, affordable payment service with only limited involvement of a bank.
The service enables its users to:
- Deposit and withdraw money
- Transfer money to other users and non-users
- Pay bills
- Purchase airtime
We don’t have this product in the UK as the majority of people here have easy access to bank accounts and financial services, either in person or using technology. The higher demand in Kenya is due to access issues preventing many people from opening bank accounts.
Biometrics (read more)
In the UK biometrics in schools have been largely used for issuing library books, but they are increasingly being used for cashless catering systems. This enables parents to deposit money into students’ catering accounts to be debited by a child’s biometric finger scan at the point of sale. Biometric technology for registration is also used in the UK.
From mid-February 2016 HSBC are launching voice recognition software and touch security services in the UK in a big leap towards biometric banking. Atom Bank are set to roll out facial recognition software as a means of access and MasterCard are set to roll out ‘selfie ID checks’ as alternatives to passwords.
Facebook Credits (read more)
Currently used to pay for games and apps on Facebook, but is said to be slowly growing as its own currency. Facebook are looking at increasing its use for other products on the website.
Credits can currently be bought in Tesco at either £10 or £20!
Tablets as ATMs of the future (read more)
Security and software company Diebold has created a new cash machine that uses the standard technology of a tablet computer. It is two-thirds of the size of a traditional cash machine, uses touch screen keypads, and plugs in using a broadband connection. Its portability makes it convenient for elderly and disabled customers.