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trip report from the eighth World Wide Web conference in toronto, canada

tutorial 5: electronic payment systems

author: clifford neuman, university of southern california (USC), information sciences institute (ISI)

number of attendees: approx. 40


an electronic payment system is needed for compensation for information, goods and services provided through the Internet - such as access to copyrighted materials, database searches or consumption of system resources - or as a convenient form of payment for external goods and services - such as merchandise and services provided outside the Internet. it helps to automate sales activities, extends the potential number of customers and may reduce the amount of paperwork.


payment methods:

of all models, (non-)secure presentation is the only model that has a large customer base today. all other methods require a special hardware and/or software that most potential customers don't have.

systems available today:

systems gone:

integration with banking systems:

needs to be efficient. customers can either deposit funds in advance or pay periodic statements (electronic credit card).

risks and security:

from the customer's perspective:

from merchant's perspective:

from the financial service provider's perspective:

the risk may be shifted in one direction or the other by using a credit or debit model and by special agreements.

technical solutions to improve security:

roles of and rewards for the financial service providers (FSPs):

multiple FSPs should not compete on the basis of incompatible payment systems. to keep payment services simple, it shall be possible to clear payments between different systems.

my comment:

this was a good overview of what kind of payment services are available today and what they do. it has become obvious that non of the methods described above had taken off so far except of using credit cards, sometimes over a secure connection using SSL. it will probably take at least two more years until we will see any of these systems becoming significant.

the tutorial is available on the web.

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production note:

this trip report was written on a Vadem Clio C-1000 running Windows CE with Pocket Word. It was then transferred to a DELL Latitude notebook and modified as needed. this document is supposed to be HTML V4.0 compliant.

[ This page is Bobby V3.1 approved ] this page conforms with the WAG

tutorial_5.html / 17-may-1999 (ra) / reto ambühler
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