What is the difference between stored value and top-up?

In the context of electronic money institutions (EMIs) and money services businesses, “stored value” and “top-up” are terms often used to describe different aspects of the same process, which is the electronic storage and management of money. Here’s a brief explanation of each:

  1. Stored Value: This refers to the monetary value represented in digital form, which is stored on an electronic device or system. It’s a pre-paid amount that users can access to make payments or transactions. Stored value can be found in various forms such as prepaid debit cards, digital wallets, or electronic money accounts. The value is already paid for in advance and is stored for future use.
  2. Top-Up: This is the action of adding more funds to an existing stored value account or device. When the stored value is depleted or runs low, users can “top-up” or refill their account with more funds. This can often be done via various methods, such as bank transfers, credit/debit card payments, or even physical cash deposits at designated locations.

In summary, “stored value” refers to the digital representation of prepaid funds, while “top-up” is the process of adding more funds to the stored value. Both concepts are fundamental to the operation of EMIs and other money services businesses.

This page was last updated on August 4, 2023.

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