PSINet jumps on e-commerce bandwagon

Internet service provider PSINet has rushed headlong into the electronic commerce stampede with the announcement of a Web hosting service for businesses.

Internet service provider PSINet has rushed headlong into the electronic commerce stampede with the announcement of a Web hosting service for businesses who want to buy and sell products over the World Wide Web.

The new service, called PSIWeb eCommerce, is being launched in conjunction with technologies from CyberCash, Inc. and Mercantec, Inc. PSIWeb is a Web hosting service division of PSINet, according to a company press release.

PSIWeb eCommerce is a suite of services which will help businesses set up "virtual storefronts" on PSIWeb servers which allow users to buy products using CyberCash's secure payment system. Merchants can change content on their sites by typing changes into a form in order to automatically change information, such as pricing or availability, on a PSIWeb database.

Mercantec will contribute its SoftCart virtual store technology, which helps merchants build sites through the use of a forms-based graphical user interface (GUI). SoftCart keeps track of purchases, creates invoices, calculates international shipping and sales tax and delivers completed orders directly to accounting systems.

CyberCash will provide the electronic payment system which includes an electronic Wallet for consumers, an electronic CashRegister for merchants and a gateway service that is connected to a network of financial institutions for verification and approval of credit card transactions.

The PSIWeb eCommerce complete service is priced at US$295 per month. A service which supports Cybercash payment, but not Mercantec's storefronts, will cost $195 per month.

This annoucement follows on the heels of similar announcements in the last month by AT&T Corp., Federal Express and IBM.

PSINet is at http://www.psi.net.

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