Electronic money is a digital equivalent of cash, stored on an electronic device or remotely at a server. One common type of e-money is the 'electronic purse', where users store relatively small amounts of money on their payment card or other smart card, to use for making small payments.
But e-money can also be stored on (and used via) mobile phones or in a payment account on the internet.
The new E-Money Directive (2009/110/EC) (EMD) aims to:
- enable new, innovative and secure electronic money services to be designed
- provide market access to new companies
- foster real and effective competition between all market participants.
This should benefit consumers, businesses and the wider European economy.
The directive focuses on modernising EU rules on electronic money, especially bringing the prudential regime for electronic money institutions, into line with the requirements for payment institutions in the Payment Services Directive.
The rules in the E-Money Directive must be in force in all EU countries by 30 April 2011.