||The thesis describes the concept of retail electronic money (also referred to as stored value), provides a brief evolutionary overview of prepaid electronic payment instruments, and tries to reconstruct the development process of the new payment methods. Four types of schemes that exist in the EU and the US—multipurpose prepaid cards, prepaid dedicated accounts, person-to-person online payment services and mobile customer accounts—are described. Subsequently, an overview of current trends and future prospects is presented. In a more theoretical manner, the development of prepaid schemes is put into the broader perspective of the evolution of payment systems in general, and the process of innovation. Based on that, several conceptual barriers to their adoption are suggested. Finally, regulatory environments in the EU and the US are described and compared. The thesis aims to analyze the current and potential trends and their implications for payment systems.