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Chicago Fed Letter, No. 163a, March 2001
E-money and E-commerce: Two Alternative Views of Future Innovations (Special Issue)

Some in the banking industry have wrung their hands over the slow adoption of debit cards, e-cash, electronic bill payment, financial electronic data interchange (FEDI) and smart cards in the U.S. Whether or not these innovations grow swiftly, this subject is important for several reasons. First, payment services bring in significant revenues for financial institutions, and changes in technology could impact future revenues. Second, a cornerstone of policy on issues of safety, soundness, and consumer protection is the assumption that a significant portion of financial services activity flows through “trusted” financial institutions. As a result, it is important for policymakers, the industry, and the public to understand the broad implications of technology for the payments mechanism and banking.

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