Money in your wallet, or in the bank. Money from the wall and paying in cash or with your card. That is how we know our money. But it is also used in very different ways. Money is constantly being traded. For example, by buying foreign currency or investing in shares of companies. And this is not limited to the immediate surroundings. Globalisation has made money travel ever faster and farther.


The countries of the European Union have agreed that from 1993 money may move freely from one country to another within the union. We call this free movement of money. There is often free movement of money elsewhere too.
Money has also travelled faster and faster thanks to the advent of high-speed connections. For instance, the stock exchanges of Chicago and New York (the places where you can trade in shares and other securities) are directly connected by cables. If you buy shares on the New York stock exchange from Chicago, your buy order is transferred within thousandths of a second. And that while Chicago and New York are hundreds of miles apart!

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The movement of money is also accelerated by better cooperation between banks across borders. An example of that cooperation is the introduction of IBAN in 2014. This is a code that is added to the numbers of bank accounts within Europe (except in Russia, Belarus, the Ukraine and Moldova). Because of this code, transferring money from an account in the Netherlands to another European country is faster.

It is the people with a lot of money and organisations like banks, pension funds and investment companies that send the money around the world. We call these people and institutions big investors. They make their money travel in search of the places where they can earn the most with their money. In other words: where they can get the highest return from their investments.

1) What other forms of money are mentioned above?
2) Besides the big investors, there is another group that circulates large sums of money around the world. Which group is meant?