Two companies are lining up separate secure digital payment schemes that promise to accelerate e-commerce uptake by consumers.
Trintech launched last week what it termed a virtual credit card, the first e-commerce payment system to use the newly developed ECML (e-commerce modelling language) standard to ease the online payment process for consumers and retailers.
John McGuire, Trintech's CEO, said the ezCard is easy to download and use, and would help reduce customer frustration while shopping online, which leads to abandoned transactions.
"The user's (credit) card details are stored on the bank's central server," said McGuire, "and the bank then issues a permanent SSL certificate to the user. The software then installs an icon, which stores the certificate, in the Windows task bar tray area. The user can then drag-and-drop the icon on to a payment page, which initiates an automated SSL transaction, as well as auto-populating (filling out all the fields on) the payment page."
McGuire explained that the software uses the standardised HTML form fields defined by ECML to carry out this auto-population. The software will use the highest form of encryption available to authenticate the user, including SET and SSL.
To obtain an ezCard, users have to register at their bank's Web site, and then download the small Java application. Retailers hoping to use the service will have to form a relationship with banks using Trintech's back-end system.
McGuire said the product would roll out next month. The price for banks depends on the number of cards needed, and ranges from £31,000 to £310,000.
In a separate move, Confinity has announced that its new product, PayPal, is set to launch in the US in September. It allows users with handheld devices, such as Palm Pilots, Windows CE machines, mobile phones and pagers, to beam money to other PayPal users. The money can then be redeemed at the PayPal Web site and is credited to the user's bank account.
If the recipient does not have the PayPal software installed, it will be downloaded to their machine before the transaction takes place.
The software has already been used to carry out a multi-million dollar transaction: Confinity's lead investor, Nokia Ventures, used the software to beam $3 million (£1.9 million) to Confinity CEO Peter Thiel. PayPal can also be used to send money via e-mail.
Confinity could not say when the service would launch in Europe.
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