Suggests that the discussion of online payments, while ultimately being a key issue for the future Information SuperHighway, is as significant now as it ever will be. The explosive increase in the use of the Internet has seen the emergence of commercial services and pressures previously restricted to Compuserve and the like. Many predictions see this burgeoning electronic marketplace becoming a significant component of the world economy. However, this can only happen once two key problems have been addressed, namely, protecting property rights, and making payments. This has led to a frantic battle for payment mechanisms that can provide the new medium with the means of conducting transactions. Identifies the key commercial requirements that successful use of the Internet will impose on a payment mechanism. Identifies the different types of mechanisms that are proposed, on trial or in use on the Internet. Evaluates each of these mechanisms against the requirements to determine which (if any) are really suitable for electronic commerce.
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