Technology has altered the way consumers interact with payment systems. The Internet, digitization, shifting consumer preferences and, in some cases, regulatory reform have accelerated the uptake and use of electronic payments (e-payments). In turn, e-payments have contributed to the growth of e-commerce, making it practical and possible. However, while the digital world is theoretically borderless, national and regional boundaries have not gone away. Restrictions on the international supply, use and availability of e-payment services are among the challenges to global e-commerce.
This white paper informs discussion on e-payment challenges and solutions. It provides brief context on the e-payment ecosystem, the opportunities the sector presents for small business and financial inclusion and the payment-related hurdles faced by small players dealing digitally across borders. Given that trade frameworks can address international commercial frictions and support e-payment development, the paper enhances understanding of relevant efforts to date, and reflects on what else could be done.