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In-Depth Information
Figure 12.6
The processing flow
in credit card orders
While merchant accounts can be expensive, there are low-cost solutions such as PayPal
( Originally intended for consumer-to-consumer credit card
sales, PayPal now offers credit card and shopping cart services for business Web site
Smart Card
The smart card model is widely used in Europe, Australia, and Japan. A smart card is
similar to a credit card, but it has an integrated circuit instead of a magnetic strip
embedded in it. The smart card is inserted into a smart card reader. Expect to see more
smart card applications in the United States in the coming years.
You have probably shopped at online stores and found some easy to work with and
others difficult. A large problem for e-commerce sites is abandoned shopping carts—
visitors who begin to shop but never place an order. The next section explores types of
storefront solutions and shopping carts.
What about micropayments?
The term micropayment describes a payment model in which small amounts of currency
(sometimes called microcents) are easily exchanged over the Internet by merchants and con-
sumers. To download content, consumers pay in small increments ranging from just under a
dollar to tiny fractions of a penny. It is not feasible for sellers to use the credit card payment
model for these tiny amounts due to transaction processing fees. So, various micropayment
methods have been introduced. Companies such as Cybercoin, Millicent, and Digicash arrived
with fanfare but soon faded away. Factors contributing to their failure included the unwillingness
of consumers to subscribe to these services and the unwillingness of consumers to pay for
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