Author: Denise Bedell, Valentina Pasquali
Project Coordinator: Alessandro Magno, Denise Bedell

The European Commission Office of Internal Markets defines e-money--or electronic money--as the digital equivalent of cash, stored on an electronic device or remotely at a server.

By Valentina Pasquali and Denise Bedell – Project Coordinator: Denise Bedell and Alessandro Magno

Data is from the Bank for International Settlements' Statistics on payment, clearing and settlement systems in the CPSS countries. Report published in January 2013 with figures on 2011.

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U se of E-Money by Non-Banks (Total Number of Transactions in USD Millions, 2011)

U se of E-Money by Non-Banks (Total Value of Transactions in USD Billions, 2011)

Electronic payment can refer just to e-commerce--or payments for buying and selling goods or services offered online--or to any type of electronic funds transfer.

Use of e-money is still in its infancy in comparison with more mature payments channels, such as checks and direct debits. In fact, according to data from the BIS Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS), e-money accounted, in 2011, for much less than 1% of transaction value in all reporting countries with highs of 0.22% of total volume of payments in Singapore (the equivalent of $1.7 billion) and 0.1% in Italy (or $13.5 billion.)

The same is true in terms of number of transactions. Singapore, with 2.8 billion of them, has, by far, the most active e-money market, with 88% of payments happening via this method. Italy is a distant second, with approximately 152 million e-money transactions accounting for approximately 4% of total number of payments.

However new technology developments and regulatory initiatives around electronic payments hold the promise of vastly increasing payments traffic through this channel, particularly in the consumer space.

With mobile payments technology—such as Near Field Communications (NFC) -- advancing rapidly and those in the payments and mobile space—from system providers to banks to mobile service providers—pouring resources into its development, this will further push development of the e-money usage.

In addition, modern payments infrastructure and the rapid increase in mobile penetration in emerging markets— especially within Asia --may drive e-money growth in developing countries faster than many developed markets.

Data is from the Bank for International Settlements' Statistics on payment, clearing and settlement systems in the CPSS countries. Report published in January 2013 with figures on 2011.

Use of E-Money by Non-Banks (Total Number of Transactions in Millions, 2011)

Click on the column heading to sort the table.

* Sum or average excluding those countries for which data are not available. For credit transfers, data for France (prior to 2005) and the United Kingdom include interbank transactions; however, the total number is relatively small.

Use of E-Money by Non-Banks (Total Value of Transactions in Billions, 2011)*

Click on the column heading to sort the table.

* Converted at yearly average exchange rates, except as noted.

** Sum or average excluding those countries for which data are not available. For credit transfers, data for France (prior to 2005) and the United Kingdom include interbank transactions. Since the value of these transactions is relatively large, cross-country comparison should be treated with caution; consequently, CPSS figures related to credit transfers have not been calculated.

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