Some may think of economic strategy, saving, investing, and various kinds of financial planning as things that are a bit nerdy or uptight — that is, unless one has a flare or love for money issues. In other words, fiscal concerns usually are not thought of as fun (except maybe by fund managers and economists). But the Internet can change those types of judgments and biases, and it certainly has been making investing and managing funds a whole lot easier for those who relish or depend upon the activities.
Working with money using the Internet today is more integrated with a person’s overall life and even one’s leisure.
The great and revolutionary ease that the Web has introduced into many important duties in life, such as managing cash, as well as our leisure activities like consuming entertainment products, is basically a renegotiation with risk itself. Although new technology and uncharted media ecosystems such as social networks pose unusual types of danger, they have in many cases rendered more conventional tasks like banking, investing and law compliance less risky. To drive that basic point home we could focus on one incredibly popular form of online participation that deals directly with people’s sense of risk as well as their relationship with money: Web-powered gambling.
If this example seems irrelevant or like a stretch in association with serious financial matters, then one only need reflect upon the fact that investing in stocks and leveraging the funds placed in complex financial instruments can be compared reasonably with betting and gambling. Even laying out cash to start a small business is like making a bet upon one’s own ideas and talents. On the other hand, real money gaming happens to present an interesting interaction between entertainment value and a person’s attitude toward money — but more importantly what qualifies as acceptable risk.
First of all we could notice that the image of playing poker or toying with slots has changed dramatically since the heyday of Vegas, Atlantic City or Monte Carlo — and with the emergence of (and competition from) online gambling. The main reason that Web-based casinos have acquired a newer, safer reputation and image is that they have been borne forth with a fresh round of legalization and regulation.
Other reasons they probably are more trustworthy than traditional brick-and-mortar casino venues is the fact that the financial marketplace has identified this form of entertainment as a prime area in which to deliver innovative money products and services that keep gamblers safe online. For example, in the UK PayPal is available for people playing slots inside Facebook or who are members of poker sites and online casinos.
So what we have here is a new electronic tool for managing money — PayPal is the world’s most popular “e-wallet” — which also can play the role of safeguarding users when they gamble or dabble in legitimate slots or games, or indeed purchase various products, forms of entertainment, services and so forth. In a sense, this powerful kind of Internet resource makes all kinds of e-commerce less risky, while at the same time permitting users to engage in something perceived as somewhat risky (like online slots with paypal or other online tools) with a level of safety that is acceptable to them. Whether it is paypal slots or unfamiliar types of online media or social networking products, individuals can more freely experiment with their cash. This may be a good symbol for the kind of use value that many contemporary, Internet-enabled products and services are aiming at offering us: versatility and added security that makes previously uncertain activities easier to engage with and to include in one’s lifestyle.