Electronic Cash. Graham Dunsby

Essay by pluto4791University, Master'sA-, July 2003

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Since its inception, the internet has been identified as having great potential for online commerce. However despite the internet's exponential growth, web trading has failed to live up to expectations. Although many online companies have become very profitable it is the exception rather than the rule.

If we compare the rise of web surfing with the increase in online buying we see that there is a large discrepancy. This report argues the full commercial potential of B2C trade will not occur until a single government sponsored electronic cash system is in place. It also speculates on how the ideal electronic cash system might look and the impact it will have.


The internet has proved a phenomenal success since it started somewhere back in 1995.

Although there are millions of people regularly using the internet for surfing, email and other activities not many are actually buying (and paying) online.

According to Roger Starch Worldwide, although 73% of internet users got information about products that they wanted to buy only %42 actually bought online.

Why did half these people complete their purchases offline instead of finalizing the whole deal online?

There are several reasons why shoppers don't want to buy online. Many want to see and feel the products before buying. Many more don't trust the order fulfillment process. ie. They think that they'll pay for goods which will never actually be sent. For others the internet is still a new experience and it will take time until they're ready to make an online purchase.


Credit card security79%

Disclosure of personal details77%

Distrust of Web retailers48%

Complex order process21%

Time consuming order process20%

Unfamiliar with online Web storefronts40%

Fig.1 - Barriers To Online Purchasing

Source - Price WaterhouseCoopers

But the main barriers, including the disclosure of personal details, credit...