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2.3 Newcomers Without a Banking License

The providers outlined below exploit the thought traps without possessing a banking license.[1] It will therefore be interesting to observe how these business models will develop. Selected models will be presented from the areas of “payment transactions”, “virtual means of payment”, “investing and financing”, “personal financial management systems”, “brokerage and securities trading” and “personal information and decision-making systems”.

2.3.1 Payment Transactions

A distinction must be made between the following types of transactions: mobile payment, Near Field Communication (NFC),[2] virtual means of exchange, micropayments and transactions supported by certain additional services. The following forms of payment, in descending order, are expected to be dominant in the year 2025:

• Smartphones with NFC chips in combination with eWallets[3]

• Mobile payments via online services such as PayPal

• Customer cards

• Credit cards

• Cash (Kearney 2012)

Providers of payment transaction services, whether online or via eWallets, are in contact with their customers on a daily, and sometimes even hourly basis. This allows them to collect relevant data about customers and their transactions. The loss of customer data can lead to the loss of the customer relationship. If banks lose their access to the traditionally low-margin payment transactions business, they then become dependent in future on the data of other service providers. In extreme cases, the bank becomes nothing more than the processor of transactions on the system platforms. The customer interface can be occupied successively by new competitors and, again in extreme cases, the traditional providers become invisible to the customer. The traditional provider's brand fades progressively, while the brand of the new competitor is recharged.

The flow of start-ups of mostly mobile providers in the area of electronic payment transactions is therefore relentless. Along with the well-known service PayPal by eBay, other providers are Paymate and Propay. Yapital (yapital. com), by the Otto Group, is a special case. It offers point-of-sale (POS) payments and is a pioneering cross-channel payment provider. Small business owners, such as market stall operators or delivery services, can easily use iZettle (izettle.com) to transform their smartphone or tablet into a POS payment terminal with the help of a card reader.

Providers like Euro2Cash (euro2cash.de) offer a mixture of old and new payment methods. They allow users to transfer money online to recipients abroad who do not have a bank account. The transferred sums are then paid out by regional paying agents. Other systems such as BillGuard (billguard.com) analyse users' credit card payments. Once read-only access is granted for a credit card account, all credit card payments by the user are examined. The payments are checked for hidden fees, booking errors, etc., using more than 100 automated security tests (BillGuard 2013).

Holvi (holvi.com) is a Finnish software company. It soon plans to open a Europe-wide innovative bank that offers not only internet-based investments, but also an entire programme encompassing all financial payment flows. The business will be managed exclusively by the customers themselves. The philosophy presupposes that people work in other dimensions these days, and act in networks.

Social micropayment services such as Flattr (flattr.com) offer user accounts into which a certain sum is deposited monthly. The user can then click on a payment button on the websites of various different media providers, which then receive a donation from the account.

  • [1] No distinction is made below between existing partial or universal banking licenses—as prescribed by German law. Neither Switzerland nor Ireland, for example, make this distinction. For example, PayPal's banking license was issued in Luxembourg and applies throughout Europe.
  • [2] NFC is a non-contact payment method via mobile phone or credit card. Its main area of use is in paying smaller sums such as parking metres or ticket systems. But NFC can also be used for areas such as access control (Tipps 2013).
  • [3] It is predicted that by 2014–2016 every fifth smartphone will be equipped with NFC. The volume of transactions processed directly via mobile phone in 2015 is estimated at around 670 billion US$ (Juniper Research 2011).
 
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