Fun with numbers: Payment Switches

Robert Hettinga rah at
Mon Feb 13 11:26:14 PST 1995

Saw this on buyinfo. At first blush it reminds me of the old CMU "Billing
Server" without the gopher...

>From: treese at
>To: www-buyinfo at
>Subject: technical paper: Payment Switches for Open Networks
>Date: Mon, 13 Feb 1995 13:24:48 -0500
>Original-From: Win Treese <treese at>
>"Payment Switches for Open Networks" by David K. Gifford, Lawrence
>C. Stewart, Andrew C. Payne, and G. Winfield Treese is a technical
>paper describing Open Market's Internet payment switch.  It will be
>presented at IEEE COMPCON '95 (San Francisco, March 5-9). A preprint
>is available from
>Here is the abstract from the paper:
>    We describe the first operational Internet payment switch that
>    provides real-time authorization suitable for direct use by merchant
>    servers.  A payment switch is a server that creates digital
>    representations of conventional financial instruments, and forwards
>    authentic payment orders on these instruments to their corresponding
>    conventional financial networks and institutions.  Our payment switch
>    provides support for time-based and item-based pricing, implements
>    switch based authorization and settlement aggregation for
>    micro-payments, and includes an extensive customer support system in
>    order to provide a high level of customer confidence in electronic
>    commerce.  Fraud control is based on a transaction-specific
>    multi-level security model that accommodates existing Internet
>    browsers.  Multiple authentication technologies are applied to every
>    transaction.
>More information about COMPCON '95 can be found at
>Win Treese
>Open Market, Inc.
>treese at

Robert Hettinga  (rah at "There is no difference between someone
Shipwright Development Corporation     who eats too little and sees Heaven and
44 Farquhar Street                       someone who drinks too much and sees
Boston, MA 02331 USA                       snakes." -- Bertrand Russell
(617) 323-7923

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