Hey everyone, I predict that a battle royal is emerging big time over the next six months or so in the area of digital payment platforms. Open platforms will allow person-to-person payments to be made in a variety of ways, such as online, via mobile phones or via merchant accounts. The payment account will be funded from a bank account, debit, credit or charge account. The goal is to make it so easy and convenient using these platforms, for example by accessing your payment account via apps or via facebook, thus eliminating the need for cash, debit, credit or charge accounts! You will be able to use your account to make online purchases, pay your bills or send and receive money from friends. Digital payments are going to become massive because of the safety, ease and flexibility they provide to us, the consumer. PayPal will be facing big competition from American Express and more especially from Alipay.com, China's most popular online payment system with 500 million registered users in 2010! Yikes! In January this year (2011) Alipay joined forces with Germany's Wirecard. This gives Wirecard, one of the leading payment service providers in Europe, and its 12,000 worldwide vendor customers access to Alipay's fast and secure payment channel. It also means that Chinese tourists have a familiar payment option when travelling in Europe. Wirecard's clients who run outbound tourism businesses must be very happy campers! It's going to be BIG!