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___/\___ _|_()_|_ A N N O U C E M E N T For immediate release: Contact: [email protected] Monday, March 20, 1995 Subject of 'info' for details Direct questions to Vinn K. Beigh The First Bank of Internet, FBOI, is announcing the initiation of transaction processing services for Internet electronic commerce. Purchases over the Internet can now be made without exposing personal credit card information. Vendors can now sell products on the Internet without the restrictions imposed by credit card use. Other Internet purchase procedures require personal credit card information. Those proceedings will be monitored by thousands of people all over the world. Some will attempt to either decode the credit card information or impersonate the customer in future transactions. The alternative to personal credit cards for electronic commerce is based on an FBOI procured Visa (tm) Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card. The card is prepaid, PIN protected, replaceable, disposable, and good at over 200,000 Visa/PLUS (tm) ATMs in 83 countries. The safety of FBOI is ensured because access to ATM funds without possession of both the ATM card and the Personal Identification Number (PIN) is not possible. ATM cards are also better than credit cards because their purchase does not require the personal, financial, and employment background of the consumer. The Visa ATM card is not a credit card. It is cash. The ATM card will be used as a checking account. Using an ATM card allows consumers to set aside dedicated funds for Internet data purchases. It provides a safe, secure way to transfer cash from consumers to producers. In addition, consumers can reclaim their funds at any time using an ATM. A check/invoice procedure is used that consumers will find familiar. The consumer first places an order with a vendor. The consumer then sends to the vendor or FBOI an e-mail 'check' for the purchase of the program/file/data product. The vendor sends FBOI an e-mail 'invoice'. FBOI will reconcile the transaction and send e-mail transaction receipts to both the vendor and customer. Cash will be taken from the customer ATM account and credited to the vendor for later payment. FBOI charges a 5% vendor commission per transaction. Producers of software, information collections, newsletters, graphics, and other data products can use FBOI services for the sale of their products. These vendors can sell their products for prices that would be too low for credit card transactions. Subscription services that charge an up-front fee for one time access to data depositories and services also can participate. Vendors will benefit from a very large consumer base because this global solution works just as well outside the U.S. as within the U.S.. The Visa ATM network is worldwide. Consumers will benefit from a very large vendor base because software produced in non-North American countries can be offered for sale much easier than now. The worldwide producers on the Internet can use FBOI services without the expense of owning or renting a dedicated Internet server or a World-Wide Web site. E-mail is the cheapest and simplest of all Internet services. Large Internet commercial services will soon be starting that provide only for the on-line purchase of catalog products. It will not be possible for the individual producer to sell a data product using those services. Those services will collect the consumers credit card information in advance because of Internet security problems. FBOI transmits no sensitive information over the Internet and prevents forgery and impersonation by using Pretty Good Privacy, PGP (tm), software for all transactions. This freeware provides excellent authentication and anti-alteration security. In addition to the unsecured nature of the Internet, consumers should be hesitant giving out their credit card information to vendors of unknown credibility. Tracking is much harder on the Internet than magazine direct marketing. Also, it is not the same as mail order merchandise since U.S. Postal Service and Federal Trade Commission mail order laws do not apply to the Internet. For high volume, low cost, transactions directly between producers and consumers on the Internet contact FBOI. Further information can be obtained from The First Bank of Internet by sending an e-mail message with the subject "info" to <[email protected]>. Visa is a trademark of Visa International Service Association. PLUS is a trademark of Plus System, Inc. PGP and Pretty Good Privacy are trademarks of Philip Zimmermann. The First Bank of Internet (tm) is not a lending institution. The First Bank of Internet (tm) is not a chartered.