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Summary

Many people think that the problems of Internet commerce are all associated with payment. This is hardly true, as the other chapters of this book demonstrate, yet payment is an essential component of many commerce systems. There are a tremendous number of payment systems in use around the globe, with various ways of handling the essential issues of authorization and settlement. In addition, different systems are commonly used for business-to-consumer, business-to-business, and information commerce. Payment is an area of ongoing innovation, as our discussion of microtransactions illustrates, and new technologies will continue to emerge. An Internet commerce architecture must therefore be flexible regarding payment technology, yet the designers must understand both the technology and the business issues of managing trust as well as risk.


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