A consortium of credit card and technology companies are expected to announce today a virtual credit card standard that is set to increase impulse buying on the Internet.
Dubbed e-card, the technology will enable consumers to drag and drop a virtual credit card icon from their desktop to an inbox on their Web browser to complete a purchase.
E-card is based on Electronic Commerce Modeling Language (ECML) open standard. The e-card will have the heavyweight backing of Microsoft, Visa, American Express, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Mastercard, America Online, Cybercash, Compaq, Transactor Networks and Trinitech.
To obtain the virtual credit card, consumers will have to go to their bank or credit card company's website and enter a password. The company will then send a Javabean or a Microsoft Com icon to the consumer's desktop.
Once a purchase is made, transaction data is sent via the Internet using Web browser security technology such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Consumers will be able to keep track of their purchases by storing virtual receipts in their electronic wallets.
Industry watchers believe the ease of a drag and drop virtual credit card will dramatically increase impulse shopping on the Internet as consumers will not have to go through the chore of filling in forms to buy an item.
Microsoft is expected to include the ECML standard in its Passport electronic payment software whilst Sun is likely to integrate it into is Javawallet.
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