The Coming Era of Flexible, Frictionless Money

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Two months after PayPal opened its platform, 15,000 developers
had used it to create new payment services

The banks and credit card companies have spent 50 years building a proprietary, locked-down system that handles roughly $2 trillion in credit card transactions and another $1.3 trillion in debit card transactions every year. Until recently, vendors had little choice but to participate in this system, even though — like a medieval toll road — it is long and bumpy and full of intermediaries eager to take their cut. All of that is about to change.

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