ELECTRONIC PURSE: NEW PAYMENT OPTION? As if consumers didn't already have enough ways to pay for purchases, a new option may be on the way: the electronic purse. The electronic purse is a multipurpose prepaid credit-card-sized card that has the potential to alter the way we spend money the same way that automated teller machines altered the way we do business with banks, according to a report in Current Issues in Economics and Finance, a publication of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Such cards are already in use in some countries, and now some major financial institutions in the U.S. have announced plans to develop their own. Essentially, a bank would issue an electronic purse - or stored-value card - to customers, say John Wenninger and David Laster, authors of the report. The customers then could transfer value from their bank accounts to the card at an ATM, a personal c

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