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This contest is fueled by the following news: It is reported that in the very near future customers at a German supermarket chain will be able to pay for their purchasers merely by placing their finger on a scanner. The Edeka store chain has piloted the technology which should be more widely available soon. All customers need to to is to register their identity card and their bank details -- which will then be linked to their unique finger print. By scanning the finger, the finger print will identify the customer and his or her banking account.
Money history: From the "beginning" to the smart card:
Transactions can be made not only by traditional cash. You can take a piece of paper and write on it instruction to the employee of his bank to pay a specific person or company a certain amount of money. This paper will be called a bank cheque. However, the recipient of the cheque does not mandatorily immediately bring it to the bank, he could immediately pay by this cheque to someone else, rewriting the recipient name and affixing his signature. Such a cheque, in fact, differs little from paper bills.
In addition to cheques, there are bills of credit also. Payer for them can be anyone, not just the bank. For example, you specify a person or firm, who owes you the money as a payer, after which the document sets out in circulation. However, the bill is considered as the more "reliable" way, rather than cheque as payable uncontested and in extrajudicial order. Bill is widely used in the circulation instead of cash. That's true mostly in Western countries. In Eastern Europe, the traditional cash is preferred.
If the cheques and bills have been around for a century, the credit card is a product of recent decades. The idea is simple. A small piece of plastic with a unique number and magnetic strip, proving that you have a bank account and the seller may withdraw money from this account to pay for your purchase. In this case, the money need not be there in the account, the bank can give them to you in credit. Thus the name - credit card is derived. To accept the withdrawal of money by your card from an account, you must leave to the seller by signing or entering a secret pin number. However, credit cards also allow the so-called "verbal authorization" when the owner allows the seller to withdraw money on your card, just telling him the card number and its validity date. This often leads to the fact that the malefactors, somehow peeped the details of your card can do purchases by it.
That's why in recent years so-called smart cards are spreading up. Unlike credit card, which serves as the key to your bank account, for a smart card the money is stored "inside" in a special secure chip in electronic form. It is very difficult to copy the information from this chip. Access can also be obtained to your money without knowing the PIN number. When you make payment with a smart card, the seller deducts desired amount from your chip. You can always replenish the smart card chip with your money through an ATM, a special terminal or by simply visiting the bank. Smart cards are more reliable and that's why in some countries became as the main type of "plastic money". For example, in France (which, incidentally, is home to a smart card) other types of cards practically are not issued. They were the first device, in which so called "electronic money" have been used.