The owners of the Find a Kiwi personal reunion website are planning to sell to other e-commerce websites a .Net-based hybrid online/telephone credit card payment system the company developed.
Systems integrator e-Formation, which owns the Findakiwi.co.nz site, believes the Secure Telephone Payment System should give those making transactions online a greater sense of security. Developed by e-Formation’s sister company, Coeus, the system uses a combination of interactive voice recognition technology and secure web services to enable financial transactions to be completed by phone.
A merchandise shopper on the Find a Kiwi website is given a reference number for their transaction and a telephone number. The customer calls the phone number and is asked to enter their reference number and credit card details to complete the purchase. A .Net-based web service amends the Find a Kiwi database, after the transaction has been processed.
Coeus chief executive Jose Luis Fowler says initial feedback from an e-Formation trial of the system was that it was getting payments for Find a Kiwi from people who would not usually pay over the internet. “We found we were getting about 10% to 15% of transactions from the website completed over the phone.”
At Find a Kiwi people register by entering the names of the schools they attended, and pay a fee to be put in touch with each other. Fowler says the site was getting at least 20 emails a day from people wanting to pay by cheque rather than use their credit card online. People were also ringing e-Formation, from as far away as the UK.
“Then we would only receive one or two cheques, so we were wondering what happened to those other people.” He also wonders about those who wanted an alternative payment method but didn’t contact the company.
E-Formation says it has filed a patent for the payment technology and is packaging it to sell to other e-commerce sites. The product is a rack-mounted unit comprising both hardware and software and runs on Microsoft’s .Net platform. Coesus technical director James Riddell says it plugs into any website. He says pricing will depend on how many transactions are processed but would typically be around $15,000.
Credit card companies and banks appear to be getting tougher on online security. For instance, Visa and ANZ Bank are introducing the chip-and-PIN Visa Smart Debit Credit scheme for Eftpos, which follows the “verified by Visa” internet security scheme and the bank’s chip-equipped Zed Card.