Will Poland become the civilized world’s first truly cashless society?


Poland’s national payments provider has for almost three decades been pro-digitalization of all banking transactions. Now, due to force of circumstance, Poland could well become a very efficient and lucrative place for FX brokers to do business.

Poland may well become the first Western nation to genuinely become a cashless and paperless society, largely due to an innovative measure taken to assist business continuity during the Coronavirus lockdown period.

Over the past decade, there have been several small-scale initiatives, usually in undeveloped nations with no commercial or financial infrastructure, or  those under a despotic regime in which the general public does not trust the banks or government, all of which have amounted to nothing and in some cases have been equally nefarious as the systems they purport to circumvent.

We can all remember the mavericks with flamboyant dress sense standing on parapets across  Latin America a decade ago championing the cause of hideous digital currency-orientated schemes, with the cult-like advocators of which foaming at the mouth in their attempts to brainwash the entrapped and disenfranchised.

Many of said individuals are now either in jail, or nowhere to be seen, and cash – whether delivered by bank transfer or otherwise – is still king.

Many private individuals in the Western world no longer carry actual physical cash, but they do hold bank accounts with mainstream banks with the balance and payment currency all denominated in local fiat currency, and that is the way it will always stay.

There will never be a move away from fiat currencies. The trail of destruction left behind over the last ten years by companies attempting to dupe people into using digital currency, or even worse trading it, is chaotic testimony to that.

However, now, the world finds itself in a situation where everything is closed, yet payments still need to be made. Bank and service sector telephone lines are jammed solid and nobody is staffing the offices, meaning nobody can go and deal with important matters in person.

Some nations are imploding and may never recover, and others with a less dictatorial stance are only partially functioning, with commercial causalties occurring each day, the only lifeline of hope being cretinous loan schemes recommended by the governments that forced this upon the world, encouraging people who are now not eligible for loans as they will never meet the lending criteria to either lose their shirt or look on the backstreets for illegitimate finance.

Poland, however, has taken a far more sensible step, and it may be the catalyst that leads the rest of the world toward a truly cashless and paperless society in every area of life.

Poland’s government, led by current Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki who is absolutely doing his utmost to ensure his re-election, has been metaphorically patting itself on the back, lauding its perceived success in stemming effects of the coronavirus on its population.

The economic hit has been very severe, however, so some clever thought was required, which could lead to Poland becoming one of the easiest and most sensible nations in which to conduct international business – including online trading – in the world.

Poland’s government level bureaucrats have permitted a full and comprehensive infrastructural development which has allowed KIR which stands for
Krajowa Izba Rozliczeniowa, Poland’s national payments processor to partner with global e-signature specialist Cryptomathic, which will now allow every Polish citizen to conduct all contractual, legal, financial and government related transaction online, with a digital signature that is in line with compliance about data security, identification, customer data protection and financial regulations.

The KIR initiative, developed in partnership with Cryptomathic, enables both individuals and companies in Poland to provide non-repudiable, legally binding digital consent in both financial and public services, elevating remote e-signatures to the same legal standing as when paper-based documents are signed manually.

The new trust service utilizes digital certificates issued by KIR’s experienced certification center. For over twenty years the company’s certificates have been used to authenticate transactions within the interbank clearing system and to ensure the security of messages exchanged between banks. KIR is a qualified trust service provider and has been issuing qualified certificates and time stamps since 2003. The new e-signature services are administered using Cryptomathic’s e-signature solution, Signer, which enables KIR to provide a consistent and centralized digital remote signing experience that users can use for signing legally binding contracts and other documentation on-line.

With this in place, there will now be a fully integrated solution across Poland for all citizens to connect their documentation to their payment system, and pay and sign for things in one go, from government level downwards.

The eIDAS-certified remote qualified e-signature service (QES) is the system which enables both individuals and companies in Poland to provide this non-repudiable, legally binding digital consent in both financial and public services, thus paving the way for a complete acceptance of a ‘no paper, no cash’ society which bodes very well for the FX and electronic trading industry, which is heavily regulated in Poland.

Elzbieta Włodarczyk, director, digital signature business line, KIR, said today: “Given the current conditions, we need to be taking every opportunity to create a secure, cashless and paperless world, one that appropriately supports our citizens during prolonged periods of social distancing.”

Importantly, KIR is not just a payment processor, it is a clearing house which is the de facto service of this nature for all banks in Poland.

The company actively participates in the works related to increasing the digitalization level of the country and has been supporting the development of cashless and electronic processes in the Polish economy for 25 years.

At regulatory level, if this becomes the default means of verifying identity of clients of all industry sectors, Polish FX brokerages, along with international firms wishing to do business there, will be able to have a quick and easy method of verification and then immediate account funding.

This would work very well with reporting systems and also allow brokers to begin onboarding new clients very quickly indeed.

Forget attempting to circumnavigate the system – it will never work. In this case, the system is demonstrating that it leads the way toward the future of the electronic payment and compliance world.

 

 



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