E-retailing refers to sale goods and services on the Web. E-retailing operation can be a simple reaffirmation of the desire and the opportunity to buy some goods or service using credit card and following transfer the required amount from one account to another. But it also can be very complex when, for example, to perform a transmission of information it should be carried out through the many networks.
The first examples of e-retailing have roots in banking and the process is known as “wire transfers.” In this process, the buyer authorized his Bank to make a wire transfer to an account in another bank. This process included the transfer of money across the country or to the other side of the world and is usually made by large enterprises and other independent commercial organizations. To replace the wire transfers, there were electronic means of transmitting financial information. After doing this, the banks to notified each other about transfer by telegrams, telex or email.
Initially e-retailing was mainly prerogative of public bodies, large financial institutions and enterprises. Then the driving force shaping the field of electronic commerce became credit cards issues bodies. Emitters like Visa International, used the private and commercial communication network for authorization and to ensure the integrity of financial transactions using credit cards. Since the mid-1980’s, commercial online services such as CompuServe and the Source, allowed its users to purchase goods or services on-line, and then enter the cost of purchases in its monthly reports, which are often paid by credit cards.
Fast growing consumer interest in the Internet, extensive use of browsers that provides an encrypted transfer of information about the credit cards and vast spread of multimedia computers are just some of the factors that stimulated the development of electronic retailing in the 1990’s. E-retailing uses personal computer (PC) that is connected to the Internet or commercial on-line services for purchases of goods and services. The amount of sales of goods and services on the World Wide Web amounted to $436 million in 1995 and to about $46 billion in 1998.
E-shopping can be as easy as visiting a Web site and use a credit card to order products that then the retailer will send to the customer. However, it may be more complicated, which will involve not only a supplier of goods and services, but also numerous agencies, involved in the handling, delivery and control of financial operations.
A typical scenario, a user logs in and connects to a commercial site, determines what he needs to buy and order the desired. The user then provides the retailer with information about his credit card. The provider then transmits the information associated with this operation, to a financial settlement centre, such as the companies Visa, MasterCard or American Express or Bank, where money is transferred from one account to another and registered debit entry. Finally, the financial transaction is entered to the credit account and the balance sheet of the Bank.
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