Payments are high-trust communications in which two people exchange money. Sometimes, money exchanges occur directly between a payer and a payee, and the sale concludes when the two parties agree on a price and a currency.

However, physically exchanging the money is not always possible. In the table below we summarize some of the factors that hinder payment.

Physically exchanging money is not always possible.

# Payer and payee
1 Do not know each other.
2 Do not trust each other.
3 Are limited by the volume amount to exchange–too high.
4 Are limited by the speed of the transaction–too slow.
5 Are in different locations.
6 Use different currencies.
7 Speak different languages.

Hence, the roles of intermediaries are to make it possible for payers and payees to exchange money and to build the necessary trust to conclude the payment.

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