Everyone today realises that the world is moving to a digital reality. Leading world digital agencies forecast that by 2020 the world’s main channels of communication will be digital. We might expect that the same trend should be following in the payments infrastructure – something that would prompt a whole raft of disruptive changes in the market

Let’s imagine that in the relatively near future – let’s say 20-30 years from now – all financial processes would be automated and the global payments infrastructure would become entirely digitised. This means accounts could be managed, using digital signatures and that only the owner of the private key could carry out transactions.

"All financial processes would be automated and the global payments infrastructure would become entirely digitised."

Digital gaps

What does the payments infrastructure look like today? Today you have a wide choice of different communications methods to send a message to a friend in the USA or New Zealand – such as email, WhatsApp or Facebook – and your friend will get the message instantaneously. The contemporary payments infrastructure still lags far behind developments in the communications channels sphere. In this sector, there are a large number of rudiments and restrictions. You can not transfer money in just seconds from one part of the world to another, in a way that your intended recipient will get the money immediately. I ought to mention here that we are not taking into consideration services like PayPal, which offers the full package of services and benefits to those users who are regular clients. This business model very much look like a trusted bank model. Instead, we are analysing the future of global payment systems, that have many independent trust points. Overall, payment systems are not efficient. There is a huge number of them and their integration requires a lot of resources. Each transaction can accrue commission payments (which are particularly high for international transfers) – and  even so, the funds can still take several days to move from the sender to the recipient. Users have no clear idea how long the transfer may take, or how much commission will be charged – nor when the transaction might pass through the compliance processes. Payments can get lost during transactions between the parties. The level of fraud of internet payments is significantly high.