Chapter 6. The telematic cheque-invoice.
- This chapter's goals.
- What is a cheque-invoice.
- Telematic updating of cheque-invoices.
- Metric-documentary properties of cheque invoices.
- The telematic market.
1. This chapter's goals.
In accordance with the conditions we have explained in the previous
chapter, we should now define a possible new monetary instrument, which
we will call cheque-invoice. On the cheque-invoice is based
the construction of a rational and informative money system, without which
it is impossible to develop a clear and flourishing market.
2. What is a cheque-invoice.
A cheque-invoice is the updated monetary instrument-documentof
2. It is simply an inner accounting document which every well identified
and responsible market agent can produce according to law, and with the
only limitation of his money availability in his current account, in order
to settle an elemental operation of merchantile exchange.
We call it a cheque-invoice because it actually sums up the peculiarities
of an invoice and a cheque.
As an invoice, it shows the place and day of the
operation, it indicates the quantity and quality of the real
goods which are being sold, unit price and total amount to
be paid. It also indicates the name of the seller.
As a cheque, this same document indicates the name of
the customer, the name of his accounting office1
number of his current account, besides the accounting office
and current account number of the supplier. As an inter-accounting document
it becomes an order of payment from customer to supplier, this payment
being made by a simple scriptural transfer between the two current accounts,
through the mentioned offices.
This cheque-invoice works very simply. Every mercantile exchange involves
two agents, which are called customer and supplier respectively.
Every customer produces a cheque-invoice in favour of the supplier. When
the cheque invoice is filled with the above data, the customer-debtor-emitter
will sign it. The transfer of funds which represents payment is done automatically
by the accounting office against simple presentation by the supplier of
the cheque-invoice duly filled and signed by the customer.
This cheque-invoice can never be endorsed to a third party: the supplier
is the only legal beneficiary. After the transfer of funds has taken place,
it is invalidated, microfilmed and filed for statistical and judicial purposes,
and its cycle is therefore ended.
The cheque-invoice can also envisage a payment term according to law;
in all cases, interest will be paid by the customer-debtor-emitter who
needs to delay payment: according to custom this is a most equitable and
It can also be very simple to create an Interbank Agency to guarantee
payment to the beneficiary of all the cheque-invoices made out without
funds: this Interbank Agency would be the only actor in face of Justice
against an insolvent emitter. By these means the system will finally be
Another advantage offered by the cheque-invoice, is an automatic fiscal
collection (see chapter 11).
3. Telematic updating of cheque-invoices.
The monetary instrument which we have described can only be functional,
practical, agile and convenient if it takes advantage of the possibilities
of technology of transmission and distance processing of information, that
The application of telematics to the money system is no news: everybody
knows the introduction of electronic money, the electronic transfer
of funds or the sales points terminals.
Since 1970 the sales points terminals started to be introduced
in Europe, USA, Canada and Japan. As the name suggests, they are computer
terminals which are located in the sales place. To pay, customers hand
down a small magnetic card; the terminal, which is in connection with the
bank computers, automatically finds out if the customer's account has enough
buying power to pay. If it is so, the customer's account is immediately
debited with the purchase value to the benefit of the seller.
Lately memory cards have appeared: they are cards which have
a micro-processor included, in whose memory the bank can introduce a given
quantity of purchasing power. When paying, the seller who has a device
for reading cards, controls if it has enough buying power left, and if
so credits the relevant amount to the seller with an indication of the
customer's account. The money is recorded in a cassette or other auxiliary
memory; when the cassette is full, the seller takes it to the bank where
it is credited to his account. When there is no buying power left, its
owner takes it to the bank to re-charge it.
This and other steps for electronic transfer of buying power are being
introduced in the more advanced countries, and they will soon be accepted
But it is very important to realize that these new realities do not
fall within a complete theoretical consideration on the money system and
its social function. It is in fact to fill this gap in theory that we submit
this essay for consideration and offer as an alternative the telematic
Telematic cheque-invoice means simply that every cheque-invoice will
be produced through a centralized telematic system in a geopolitical society.
This would give way to a completeliy telematic money system, which from
a technological point of view is today perfectly reasonable.
Such a money system should include the following minimal elements, interrelated
Private invoicing centres: all the mercantile selling places -firms,
wholesalers and retailers- however small, are invoicing centres. They must
therefore have mini-computers to prepare and print cheque-invoices; one
for each elemental sale-purchase operation. For the invoice to become a
cheque, it must be signed by the customer, or, more simply, accepted through
his electronic paying card.
Private accounting centres: they are accounting firms, that is commercial
banks and savings banks. They honour payment orders such as cheque-invoices,
that is they transfer funds from one current account to another, from that
of the customer to that of the supplier. If the invoicing centres are telematically
connected with the accounting centers, the transfer of funds can take place
at the very moment of the operation. The accounting centres besides can
do the microfilming and filing of the cheque-invoices handled by them and
effect all the analysis and statistical studies requested by the community.
The unending practical and political questions produced by the contents
of this paragraph will be studied in the next chapter.
We will say however that it will be necessary to study the necessary means
to insure both the inviolability of the telematic monetary network with
respect to the possibility of mishandlings, and its impenetrability of
personal data, which will have to be protected by an effective Justice,
independent from the State. Therefore the analysis and statistics
prepared on the basis of the telematic monetary network will be always
processed completely omitting personal references and will be considered
as of public interest.
Geopolitical telematic centre: here will arrive the analytic statistical
data of public interest worked out by the various accounting centres; they
will be processed and the global centralized analyses-statistics of all
the geopolitical society will be worked out.
Telematic geo-justicial centre: to this geo-justicial centre
(so called because it depends from the Justice of the geo-political
society) will arrive all the data of all the cheque-invoices; it will
carry on the private and corporate accounting on the basis of the accounting
data transmitted by the accounting firms; it will compare the analytic-statistical
details of the geo-political telematic centre with those processed by the
accounting firm independently; and it will protect against any interference,
under professional secret, all personal, private and professional data.
4. Metric-documentary properties of cheque invoices.
We can summarize what has been said up to now by detailing the metric
and documentary properties of the cheque-invoice.
A cheque invoice is static: it is produced to organize and document
one only elemental mercantile operation; it is completed with this only
operation and it can never be used again. It must be neutralized and filed
for analytical, statistical or judicial purposes only.
A cheque invoice is diversified: it is not uniform like bank notes,
as it is produced purposely for each operation, according to its specific
properties. Besides this extreme individualization of cheque invoices,
it will be necessary to legally foresee some basic sub-species of cheque
invoices, according to the operation involved (domestic or foreign trade,
inter-corporate or consumers trade...) in order to make subsequent analyses
and statistics easier.
A cheque-invoice is personalized: it records the name of the two
agents taking part in the operation: the customer-debtor-emitter and the
Thanks to these peculiarities the telematic cheque-invoice can be the monetary
instrument-document in a position to transform the money system into a
real system for measuring and quantitatively informing on mercantile operations.
To this end it is necessary for it to become the only real and
legal monetary instrument, namely, that anonymous paper money must disappear
altogether. The telematic cheque-invoice we have described is not very
different from the several systems of electronic payment to-day in force.
It is only necessary then for electronic payment, perfectly documented,
to become the only acceptable form of monetary transaction, and that the
possibility to transform the documentary monetary circulation into an anonymous
and impersonal circulation disappears.
5. The telematic market.
The reality arising from the radical suppression of present day monetary
instruments and their substitution by a telematic monetary network such
as the one described above, could be called telematic market.
In a telematic market every elemental transaction is fully documented:
therefore there is a total clearness of the market, a complete transparency
and information. As long as this informative potential is available to
all the population and is not exclusively set apart for a privileged sector
as at present, an enormous possibility of greater and better riches, liberty
and intelligent and efficient action is opened.
It could be objected that the economic cost of such a telematic market
would be too high; but this objection can be confuted if we consider the
enormous social benefits which could be derived therefrom:
availability of an exact and exhaustive market information;
as a consequence, a better scientific knowledge of the market;
and a much more rational and effective practice in market strategy.
The benefits reach the whole of the social body, not only a privileged
minority. It is easy to compare with other expenses of geo-political range,
so important and carrying so little benefit, such as armament.
On the other hand, with the telematic cheque-invoice and the telematic
market, a dematerialization is obtained, which clearly shows the essential
nature of any money system: the abstraction and instrumentality,
void of any need of intrinsic value of the instrument filling this function.
In the suggested money system, the buying power of every person will
be represented simply by an amount in his/her current account. This buying
power will be exclusively activated by producing a cheque-invoice: the
subsequent transfer of funds is automatically effected by a computer.
As a matter of fact, the possibilities of telematic technology allow
even to renounce the actual material cheque-invoice, as a simple magnetic
storage will be enough to record in a personalized way all the monetary
operations carried out by each of the market agents.
General accounting area.
||5% Social Solidarity Tax
||Total to be paid
Justicial Protection area
|C/ Badalona, 35
||Josep Coromines Andreu
|Guild Number: 35.426
|C/A Number 359.840
||within 30 days
|Note: Payment guaranteed by Interbank Treasury.
Discount for customer's account.
Model of a consumers' cheque-invoice: it is clearly separated in
a general accounting area -whose details are necessary to prepare
exact statistics and analyses available to the whole of society- and a
protection area -whose details are completely protected under professional
secret by independent Justice-.
or Savings Bank.