Internet service provider OzEmail is performing the final testing of a new service which processes the purchases of its ISP subscribers when they shop at any of OzEmail's e-tail partners.
The payments system, named OzEpay, removes the need for OzEmail subscribers to send their credit card details over the Internet when they shop online. The ISP is partnering various dot-coms that will send customer orders to OzEmail's billing engine, which already stores the customer's credit card data for access/subscription charges.
OzEmail subscribers will be able to make purchases online without the fear of credit card details being transmitted insecurely, and can settle their online purchases with their access bill at the end of the month.
"We are asking the question: if we are good enough to provide the ISP access, hold your credit card details and provide your content online, perhaps we are also good enough to assist you with your commerce transactions online," said OzEmail CEO Justin Milne. "It leverages the fact that we already have the credit card details of 400, 000 users, so we allow those users to effectively put their online purchases on their OzEmail account, and we settle it all up with them at the end of the month."
The ISP is touting the new service as the security breakthrough e-commerce has been waiting for, as it removes the need for the transmission of credit card data, one of the most central concerns to making purchases on the Internet. The revenue model is a success-based program shared between OzEmail and its partners, with no licensing fees involved.
OzEmail spokesperson David Bathur said the company is currently testing with a small number of merchants (such as www.bottleshop.com.au), but is recruiting for more dot-coms to get on board. Participating merchants will display an OzEpay logo on their Web site that explains the service to consumers.
"OzEpay will yield excellent results for merchant partners, with increased site traffic, sales conversions and improved communication channels with customers," said Bathur. "OzEmail will also assume all bad debt risk by guaranteeing payment on all OzEpay purchases. We think it will reinvent the e-marketplace and revive consumer confidence in buying online. We may be building one of the most important e-commerce ventures to date."
Photograph: OzEmail CEO Justin Milne.