An electronic purse is the store of value on a smartcard, which can be used in a manner similar to cash to pay for local expenses, travels or any other small-scale disbursements. Swiss Authentis’ system allows the Government, through its Central Bank, to create a sovereign national retail payment system as an alternative to market-led approaches.

By doing so, Central Banks of emerging countries may wish to reduce their spending in importing huge volumes of coins or small denomination notes, and promote financial inclusion (i.e. extending banking services at an affordable cost to the vast sections of disadvantaged and low-income groups).

This branchless banking model allows to dematerialize coins. Cards can be loaded and used with any vendor and accredited point of administration. The card can be used by the population to easily pay fees, shop or transfer money to third parties. Authorities may also use the cards to pay social benefits to qualified beneficiaries.


For Citizens

  • e-Purse is handy, clean and safe,
  • If lost or stolen, easy to block the card and transfer the credit to a new card,
  • Expense details provided online,
  • No face value on the card so no temptation to steal.

For Merchants

  • Transactions are quicker, more clients can be served,
  • Saves time and efforts to sort petty cash,
  • More business, as people spend more with virtual money.

For the Central Bank

  • No coins to mint,
  • No logistic for their distribution, no sorting equipment,
  • Transactions traceability,
  • Easier currency management and less currency retention,
  • Unused cards can be revoked, return of remaining value.