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The Internet - Secure Payment

credit online card federal

The Internet has become a 24-hour shopping mall, with first quarter ad revenue for 1998 at $350 million. Recently, a company got federal approval to let online investors buy shares in its mutual funds with credit cards. In late 1998, the first Internet bank was granted a national charter by federal regulators. Paper checks are used for 50 percent of online payments and credit cards pay the rest. Yet merchants and credit card companies need to agree on payment standards for online card use. New payment options beyond the credit card have emerged, such as electronic wallets-browser - linked applications that manage a consumer's payment accounts and digital certificates, and Echecks--

- secure checks send via e-mail. Protecting payment is key, and an inexpensive new chip introduced in 1998 that reads fingerprints for identification may solve the problems of fraud and theft without new legislation.

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