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A brief history of International Payments

02 May 2018

We may wonder how we’d survive without the internet and smart phones to conduct business, but international payments has essentially been around for centuries, even millenniums… just not quite as quickly, easily or fairly!

International payments can be seen from as early as the Ancient Greeks (circa 3000BC) when they would record transfers of money, animals, grain and whatever else they would trade with both local and foreign parties.

The Ancient Greeks


Some of the earliest records of international payments come from the Ancient Greeks. They would record transactions and trades, give receipts and as the system grew and became more popular, rich folk would have their money handled by a sort of accountant when trading and sending money and tradable items to foreign lands!

This idea was then adopted by the Romans when they took over circa 1BC – 4AD and was improved by their use of more sophisticated systems.




The Chinese massively improved the receipt system of the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians with the introduction of paper banknotes around 7AD. During the Tang and Song dynasties, the Chinese developed printed bank notes which were a lot like paper currencies we see today. This revolutionised the financial industry at the time as businessmen no longer had to haul coins or goods wherever they went. They would print a note which bore the correct value of the payment they were conducting.


Renaissance Europe


With the Dark Ages behind them, the Renaissance era was a time where international trade made a recovery across Europe. This is largely with thanks to independent city states in Italy including Roma and Venice who grew into international trading powerhouses. They created a more sophisticated financial system which was not so dissimilar to that used by the Chinese, however the scale of the printing and international trading skyrocketed and was now available across more of the then known world.


British Empire


The Gold Standard was created in Britain in 1821 which was designed to promote long term stability and reduce uncertainty through international trade and fixed exchange rates. This strategy was then adopted by more regions and countries and enhanced the financial and international payments industry to become what it is today.


Modern Day IP


Today, International Payments are conducted largely online and have enhanced the way we look at money transfers. You can transfer money between two countries in minutes, even instantly thanks to cutting edge platforms. Here at eurochange, we offer a free International Payments account and can transfer any amount of money to over 190 countries worldwide. If you need to transfer money overseas for your business, accommodation or something entirely different…


Future IP


We’re very excited about the future of International Payments! The industry has grown so much over the past few years and we can’t wait to see where it takes us next. Here’s to transferring currency all over the world at the click of a button
(oh wait, we can already do that for you 😉).

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