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Chapter 14. Payment Acceptance and Processing > Types of Payment and Acceptance

Types of Payment and Acceptance

As a Web store, you can accept a number of payment types. In addition to traditional payment forms such as credit cards, checks, and money orders, customers may choose to pay through electronic cash or smart cards.

Electronic Cash

Electronic cash lets users send digital messages that act like currency to and from their accounts. Vendors can collect these messages and turn them back into a bank in return for their value. Unlike in credit card–based systems, users are not advanced credit, and the goal is to enable ways for "micro-transactions" to take place. So, whereas credit cards may handle payments of $10 to $20 or more, electronic cash systems will be focused on items that cost less. Electronic cash arrived with plenty of hype early in the life of the Internet. But the hype has died down as the first electronic cash companies fizzled and credit cards became the norm. Still, for low-cost transactions, e-cash provides the best future, and new forms may come the forefront in the next few years.


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