Money alone sets all the world in motion.
In many respects, online payment is the foundation of systems for electronic commerce. The ability to take payment distinguishes an electronic commerce system from one that provides only advertising or other communications capabilities. Incorporating payment abilities, however, adds considerable complexity to a system. First, the security of both the payment mechanism and the overall system must be sufficient to protect the system. Second, the system must provide a high degree of integrity for transactions—the system must not lose or inadvertently change a payment transaction.
This chapter considers what happens once the buyer and the ...