The Life And Times Of Money Transfer
Focusing on how far the journey of money transfer has come, where we’re currently at and where we hope to go.
Money transfer has had one of the most interesting evolutions ever. Our world has become more connected than ever and this, in turn, has made it easier to transfer money around the world.
While the exchange of goods and services is older than civilization itself, we can agree that we’ve come a long way from barter and trading livestock in Galilee or Mesopotamia. Though the methods have changed, the goals have remained constant: establishing trust and getting a fair deal.
Here’s a brief history of money transfers through time — and a glimpse at a possible future.
Transition From Barter To Coins
In the beginning, long before central banks or wire transfers or even coins, there was barter.
Bartering is a direct trade of goods and services. For example, If you are exchanging an axe as part of an agreement in which the other party is to kill a grizzly bear, you have to find someone who thinks an axe is a fair trade for having to face the bad guy that is a bear. If this doesn't work, you would have to alter the deal until someone agrees to the terms. This system of trading spread across the world, and it still survives today in some parts of the globe.
As time went on and we entered the 12th century, the Chinese began using cowrie shells and metal knives as payments for goods that they delivered later. The edges of the metal implements were rounded off, possibly to prevent accidents. These evolved into coins — the first money.
The coins circulated in Turkey, Greece and other cities before it spread to the Roman Empire, at a time when soldiers of the Roman Empire were being paid at least partially in salt (yes, salt. What a time to be alive!).
The Paper Junction
Paper currency landed sometime between 600 and 900 CE. It first appeared in China. Light, foldable and easy to carry, paper money made transfers easier and man thought he had arrived. But in a foreshadowing of modern problems, too many bills were created, thus leading to massive inflation.
Later, there were bank bills. This was different because it was backed by gold or silver, with the premise that people could exchange them for coins. England designated gold as the official standard of value.
Bills and coins circulated freely, but due to their tangibility, they were also vulnerable to loss and theft. In the 16th century, checks emerged and gradually became the dominant means of value transfer for both businesses and individuals. In fact, where modern Nigerian bills are inscribed with, "Central Bank Of Nigeria" the Chinese inscription at that time warned: "Those who are counterfeiting will be decapitated” (It was that deep).
Gold To Government
The invention of the telegraph (a device or system that allows the transmission of information by coded signal over distance) enabled merchants to use Western Union for money transfers from the 1850s on, drastically improving the speed of transactions and bringing businesses into the modern era.
Money had finally put on the “new year, new me” hat. Money began to travel faster and in large volumes. Gold worked as a value standard because so many people accepted it. Bank-issued bills weren’t always reliable or universally accepted. Many countries countered this issue by establishing central banks intended to standardize and stabilize their currencies. However, while central banking made currencies more stable, pegging them to gold made them inflexible. Today, the value of a currency depends not on gold, but largely on the reputation and laws of the issuing country. The U.S. dollar, backed by a stable government, sound laws, a strong economy and plenty of Treasury notes, has long been considered the world’s reserve currency.
In the late 1800s banks began using credit cards. A person no longer needed to write out a check and separately record the amount every time he or she bought groceries or went out to dinner. In 1967, ATMs were introduced, giving people the option to deposit checks and withdraw cash on the go.
In 1973, banks created the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a global messaging network for efficiently transmitting money transfer instructions.
The internet brought us electronic deposits and new payment systems, including PayPal and Its siblings all introduced in 1998. Digital wallets, payment apps and money transfer specialists have facilitated new levels of delivery speed and currency exchange convenience to satisfy the lifestyles and business needs of those who are defining today’s economy.
What Junction Are We Currently At?
Today, there are a plethora of ways to send money internationally, including mobile apps that allow you to easily make online money transfers between banks, domestically and abroad, without much hassle.
Many companies offer digital services to transfer money by leveraging today’s mobile technology. Companies like Sendcash transfer millions through its global money transfer platforms. Through reliable and easy-to-use mobile and web applications, these companies have simplified the process of sending money while making it faster, cheaper, and more transparent. They do this by eliminating many of the manual processes and fees that are typical for the traditional, century-old money transfer process.
Sendcash offers some of the best rates for international exchanges, low fees, and a state-of-the-art security system of verification and risk management procedures that ensure all international money transfers are entirely secure.
One of the most recent innovations in international payments is bitcoin; a cryptocurrency that has no centralized bank or administrator. The evolution of international money transfers will inevitably continue to improve with newly emerging technologies. The future of money and international money transfers could exist in an entirely new reality in just a few decades.
So Really, Where Are We Going?
This is the digital age and we’re still very much in the early stages. From this vantage point, everything looks hazy and sudden but this has been a natural progression of events in the money transfer business. A lot has changed already, but more is definitely yet to come. Maybe someday soon we might be able to carry out monetary transactions by simply blinking our eyes, or better yet, send money telepathically. Until that day comes you can send money seamlessly with Sendcash.
So what do you think? Where do you think the future of transfers is heading? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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