Internet service provider OzEmail launched its multi-million dollar secure online payment platform yesterday in an effort to expand beyond pure Web hosting and e-mail services.
According to OzEmail CEO Justin Milne, margins in Internet service provision are slimming and, while survival is possible, if a company wishes to maintain growth it has to explore new value-add avenues.
The new Java and HTML-based payment gateway, OzEpay, allows OzEmail subscribers to make purchases online without passing credit details over the Web, thus eliminating the need for complicated servers and VPNs (virtual private networks).
Credit details are registered with OzEmail and the user is given a pin number identification which is checked four times throughout any transaction process. Similarly, merchants wishing to install the OzEpay software are submitted to stringent viability checks over a six-month period before being allowed onto the system.
OzEmail's revenue is gleaned on a per-transaction basis, according to Milne. Milne's vision for the OzEpay application is to see it become a recognised and trusted logo for online transactions which, in turn, will drive OzEmail subscriptions.
"We've ensured that the modules utilise the most common scripting denominators available," said Milne. They can be implemented and integrated in almost every Web and e-commerce architecture and product, from ASP to ColdFusion and even more advanced J2EE systems."
Integration of OzEpay will predominantly be the merchants responsibility, however Milne claims one of the application's strongest selling points is its ease and speed of integration, boasting an 18-hour implementation cycle. In addition, OzEmail will provide call centre and on-site support if necessary.
Having invested in the R&D over the last 18 months, the cost of running the OzEpay system is minimal. "It doesn't cost us anything to run, so we don't have to get everyone to sign up within the next 3 months," said Milne. "There is no specific cut-off date when we say 'this is a dud'."
OzEmail has signed 10 merchants to the OzEpay system including ChaosMusic, Roses Only, OzBooks, Health Grocer and Officesupplies2you.