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Reports

These reports were written by a team of local volunteers: Angela Merino, Assina Bounis, Celia Boyer, Eric Bianchi, Irčne Butor, Julian Albert Kilker and Melisa Makzume. The reports summarise information for people not able to attend the sessions. Their comprehensiveness and accuracy are not guaranteed. For more information, please contact the presenters directly. Their e-mail addresses are available at http://www.isoc.org/inet98/program.shtml

Track 3: Commerce and Finance

Session: Financial Issues in Electronic Commerce

By Angela Merino, 23 July 1998

Digital Money and Monetary Control

Dr. Aleksander Berentsen, University of Bern, Switzerland

The speaker analyses under which circumstances digital money could replace central bank currency, and the implications for monetary control. Digital money could be an important payment instrument for small value payments because costs are low, transactions are not face to face, it is easy of use, etc. However, there are obstacles such as security problems, technical failures and network externalities. He remarks that the widespread use of digital money would adversely affect monetary controls on "turbulent times", and also reduce income. To prevent these problems, central banks could apply legal restrictions, promote competition, and require high reserves.

Supervision and Regulation of Network Banks

Dr. Aleksander Berentsen, University of Bern, Switzerland

The Internet constitutes a new vehicle for transporting information for financial service industries. In this context, financial services are considered as information commodities. The Internet is a fast and cheap way to deliver financial services. The Internet will change the way the trade is done, but it will not affect the criteria for decision-making or the choice of a particular portfolio. Internet increases efficiency, competition, and will accelerate the globalisation and concentration. For a network bank, physical location is irrelevant compared with the traditional bank. This fact affects the way in which supervision and regulation should be apply.

New Opportunities for Financial Information Services

Jacqueline Portmann-Steffen, Telekurs Finanzinformationen AG, Switzerland

Traditional ways of managing financial data will still be used while doubt about the safety of these new technologies could exist. There are some issues that have not been solved yet like the stock exchange regulations, the supplier of the data, and the cost of providers are still prohibitive. The author considers that the gradual globalisation will contribute to getting information at competitive prices

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