The Deployment of Chip Cards for Micropayments in Electronic Marketplaces
The implementation of a user-friendly, trustworthy electronic payment system is, without any doubt, a critical success factor for the global breakthrough of electronic shopping applications. The paper presents the interim results of a European research project (Eureka EU 1483) that focuses on the development of an integrated payment system for electronic marketplaces, specifically for the business case of the Electronic Mall Bodensee, an existing mall with more than 400 partners, companies as well as organisations, and universities, in the Lake Constance region. At a very early stage of the project, partners from different groups of stakeholders agreed, that existing systems cover a certain functionality for medium-sized amounts of money but lack an efficient method for micropayments. A dedicated study on existing payment systems in general showed a market concentration on payments via credit card. Since the focus has especially been laid on the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), finding an open solution for micropayments has been identified as the biggest challenge. The paper depicts the business needs for micropayments giving an insight in current European projects on chip cards and electronic cash which could be implemented as a possible solution. Based upon the Eureka project and workshops with banks, the authors offer a process model for the implementation of mechanisms for micropayments into electronic markets and derive some conclusion about the factors which influence its eventual success.