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August 28, 1998


Payment services for Web based e-commerce

Priya Ganapati at Pragati Maidan

Email this story to a friend. Back to IIW coverage index. Payment services for Web based e-commerce'. Doesn't the topic get one all excited? But Benjamin T Lee, managing director, South Asia, CyberCash converted the very good topic into a still better corporate presentation.

Worse, he admitted that all he was doing was advertising for CyberCash.

At the end of the 45-minute presentation, the audience was disgusted, to put it mildly. All that Lee talked about was CyberCash, CyberCash and nothing but CyberCash.

At the end, he helpfully informed the audience that all that information was anyway on their Web site.

Lee started with telling the eager audience about the history of the founders of CyberCash. William Melton, one of the founders of CyberCash was here two days ago. He delivered the keynote address and made a much-quoted-around statement about money. "Money is all about hope and despair," he said.

CyberCash has various payment options available to transact business on the Net. The different ways to conduct financial transactions on the Net include credit cards, debit cards, CyberCash, electronic cheques and even more exotic things like smart wallets.

CyberCash is a software and services company founded four years ago by William Melton, Dan Lynch and a few others.

They process about 3.5 million transactions a month. Three months ago, CyberCash acquired a new company called ICVerify to provide the complete range of services on the Web.

When you pay for any goods bought with a credit card, the card is swiped on a separate machine to verify it. "If you are going to computerise your company ICVerify is the product for you. You don't need a separate machine for your cards as this product will do it on the PC itself," enthused Lee.

CyberCash has financial partnership with many leading banks in Britain and America, including Bank of America and Barclays.

The set-up fee would be $400 to $600 for merchants while minimum monthly fee would cost $40 to $50 only. The cost of processing each transaction would be $0.08 to $0.12.

The cyber payment services available today are of three types: credit and debit transactions, a CyberCoin payment and Pay-Now, which is an electronic cheque service.

Lee predicted that total Net transactions would reach $25 billion by 2005.

CyberCoin from CyberCash is geared up to pay for digital goods on the Net. "Today, the Titanic poster is the largest downloaded over the Net all over the world. It is for free. But with CyberCoin you can charge them very small amounts for it," he pointed out.

The benefits to the consumers would be in terms of instantaneous payments while the merchant would have a worldwide customer base and better profit possibilities. The merchant would also have reduced cost of infrastructure, processing, communication and management.

Lee claimed that CyberCash is ideal for financial institutions as it works within the existing banking system.

SET is a cross-platform security protocol developed by Visacard, Mastercard and Microsoft in partnership with IBM. Lee debunked the myth that CyberCash does not support SET. He assured that all of CyberCash products are SET compliant and they would receive that mark in just another two weeks.

CyberCash aims to establish consumer confidence by establishing high security standards. The CyberCoin would provide online micropayment and is ideal for transactions between $0.25 to $20.

The latest product introduced by CyberCash is Agile Wallet that will weigh only 10K and provide multiple payment options.

Back to IIW coverage index. But for the audience that was looking for an insight on the different payment options the talk was perceived as a pure public relations exercise by CyberCash.

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