Electronic Payment Systems On The Internet

The objective of the online merchant is obviously to end up, for each customer visit to his site, with a purchase transaction. In everyday life, the act of purchasing is so commonplace that no one pays more attention to the multitude of cultural and organizational presuppositions implemented. One of the difficulties of online commerce is to find a substitute for the transaction of contact between buyer and seller in the real world, and which, if possible, offers advantages for both: ergonomics, simplicity, security, auditability, universality of uses, interoperability, anonymity in certain cases, and … reduced operating costs and commissions.

There are currently dozens of different systems, especially considering both payment and micropayment services. This proliferation, even if it is clear that convergence is emerging, does not help electronic commerce to develop, and goes against the demand for simplification and transparency desired by the user.

However, we can still say that a very limited number of types of payment systems on the Internet emerge: mainly, we can cite D / C card type systems or banking, systems of which a common denomination is the virtual wallet, widely used in micropayment, without forgetting coin systems or electronic tokens, but which have not been very successful.

This article therefore provides an overview of the approaches and techniques used on the Net, in the order mentioned above. In the last chapter, he discusses the important role that the mobile could one day play in the field of payment on the internet, but also on other channels: voice, proximity to an electronic payment terminal or a terminal.

In 2002, the number of cards in France was 45 million, and 84% of adults had one. The growth rate over the past few years shows that this market is currently entering a phase of maturity. In 2002, the number of card payment-withdrawal transactions amounted to 5 billion, while the number of check transactions reached 4 billion.

The bank card is the universal means of payment par excellence. Its use is possible in all countries of the world, whether for high risk merchant payment processor, or for withdrawing money from ATMs. It is therefore used in electronic commerce, since the beginning of this type of commerce, following the same basic model as for contact commerce. This well-known model is recalled in Figure 1.

Note that the authorization can stop at the level of the acquiring bank (or of the organization to which it subcontracts this function), if it is limited to a check against a black list. It should also be noted that, after the statement 7 sent to the customer, it may be that he protests to his banker, and obtains reimbursement (if the mode in which the transaction was carried out allows: in France, no presentation PIN code). This reimbursement can be passed on to the merchant, and this is called a back charge.

Was, especially in France, the fear of using his card on the Net, often considered in this regard as a hostile jungle. It should nevertheless be noted, in France, a strong increase in e-commerce: in 2002, more than 10 million transactions were carried out, an increase of 47% compared to 2001 (ACSEL). Nevertheless, these figures remain modest, compared to overall commercial activity. On the Net, the risks are indeed very real, and concern:

Finally, note that if security comes at a cost, fraud also has a cost, which tends to increase in the case of internet payments, and which requires more secure means and procedures. The policies of large networks are now to transfer the responsibility and therefore the cost of fraud, from the merchant to the customer’s bank, which issues the payment method it uses, and which therefore has an interest in investing in appropriate security means. . The development of European banks towards EMV smart cards by 2005 is also a step in this direction.