An Israeli software company has developed a way of enabling consumers to purchase goods anonymously over the Web without having to reveal their credit card details to merchants.
Trivnet demonstrated its Wisp Internet payment service at this week's Internet Commerce Expo (ICE) in San Francisco. The service means that customers can be billed for goods they purchase by their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) rather by each individual merchant site.
Moti Dolgin, Trivnet's president and chief executive, said that in Europe where free ISPs are popular, consumers can also pay for goods via their telephone operators. The company is also in talks with a number of European ISPs and carriers, but would not reveal any names.
Trivnet is currently aiming its service at consumers of digital products such as music downloads, games, images, entertainment and software, but soon plans to target tangible items such as books and CDs.
Dolgin said: "The benefits are that there is no need for registration onto merchant sites, no software downloads and users can be anonymous. There are between 75 and 80 per cent of users still unwilling to buy online using credit cards."
Merchants and ISPs need to run Trivnet's software to offer the service, however, but this is being offered to them for free, although Trivnet will take a commission of between 10 per cent and 30 per cent for each item sold. Between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of this figure will be passed on to the ISPs.
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