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经济学人:美国终于向数字支付下手了(1)

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Leaders

社论

Online commerce

电子商务

Fintech comes to America at last

美国终于迎来金融科技

A digital-payments system that favours consumers,not banks and credit-card firms, is long overdue.

一个利于消费者而非银行和信用卡公司的数字支付系统早就应该出现了

America is home to both Silicon Valley and Wall Street, yet it has long seemed in the dark ages on digital payments. Until 2018 card purchases required hand signatures, 15 years after Europe switched to chip-and-pin. A cosy credit-card duopoly, consisting of Visa and Mastercard, works with the banks to issue cards, with the result that there has been too little competition and sky-high profit margins. Asia has leapt ahead, with pervasive, fast and dirt-cheap payments services, and a new generation of dynamic fintech firms that have rapidly reached scale. Having outdated and expensive digital financial plumbing is no mere technicality: as online shopping becomes a bigger part of everyday spending, it threatens to become a heavy tax on innovation. And it means too few people, especially in poorer households, have access to cheap and simple financial tools.

美国是硅谷和华尔街的故乡,但它似乎长期处于数字支付的黑暗时代。在2018年之前,在美国刷卡消费仍然需要手写签名,而欧洲在15年前就开始使用芯片卡付款系统了。作为信用卡领域的两强垄断集团,Visa和万事达与银行合作发行信用卡,他们的游刃有余却造成市场缺乏竞争,利润率成了天价。亚洲在数字支付已遥遥领先,实现了普遍、快速且廉价的支付方式,新一代充满活力的金融科技公司已经迅速达到规模。过时且昂贵的数字金融体系不仅会带来技术上的问题:随着网购在日常开支中所占比重逐渐加大,它还有可能会给创新带来重负。这意味着极少数人才能够获得廉价、简单的金融工具,尤其是对贫困家庭而言。

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The good news is that the picture in America is changing for the better. Thanks to the pandemic, there has been a surge in payments online and experimentation by consumers with new services provided by digital-payments firms. In the past quarter the volume of transactions on PayPal was 36% higher than a year earlier. The number of people using Square’s digital Cash App rose by 50% to 36m during 2020. Investors are now betting that these two firms, together with Stripe and Adyen (which is Dutch), form a quartet that can take on America’s stodgy financial establishment. (The chairman of The Economist’s parent group is a director of Square.) PayPal is worth $275bn, nearing Bank of America, the country’s second-biggest lender.

好消息是,美国的情况正在好转。多亏了新冠疫情,在线支付以及消费者尝试数字支付公司提供的新服务的次数均在激增。过去一个季度,PayPal的交易量比去年同期增长了36%。2020年,使用Square数字现金应用程序的人数增加了50%,达到3600万。投资者们估计,这两家公司连同Stripe和Adyen(荷兰公司)打算四家联手与美国古板的金融机构展开较量。(《经济学人》母公司的董事长是Square的董事之一。)PayPal市值2750亿美元,接近美国第二大银行美国银行的市值。

Yet there is a catch. Despite the rise of innovative firms, fees for American consumers have yet to fall by much. Square charges 2.6% on the average transaction; Stripe’s fee nears 3%. By contrast, China’s big fintech firms charge below 0.5%. Fees have been kept low by a fierce price war.

但有一个陷阱。尽管创新型公司不断崛起,但美国消费者的手续费仍没有大幅下降。Square在平均每笔交易中收取2.6%的手续费;Stripe的收费接近3%。相比之下,中国大型金融科技公司的收费低于0.5%。由于激烈的价格战,中国收取的手续费一直很低。

译文由可可原创,仅供学习交流使用,未经许可请勿转载。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
commerce ['kɔmə:s]

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n. 商业,贸易

联想记忆
outdated [.aut'deitid]

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adj. 旧式的,落伍的,过时的

 
contrast ['kɔntræst,kən'træst]

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n. 差别,对比,对照物
v. 对比,成对照<

 
pervasive [pə:'veisiv]

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adj. 普遍的,蔓延的,渗透的

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scale [skeil]

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n. 鳞,刻度,衡量,数值范围
v. 依比例决

 
overdue ['əuvə'dju:]

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adj. 过期的,未兑的,迟到的

 
competition [kɔmpi'tiʃən]

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n. 比赛,竞争,竞赛

 
innovative ['inəuveitiv]

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adj. 革新的,创新的

 
establishment [is'tæbliʃmənt]

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n. 确立,制定,设施,机构,权威

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dynamic [dai'næmik]

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adj. 动态的,动力的,有活力的
n. 动力

 
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