E-cheques in the system

An online payment system based on the premise of electronic cheques is looking to breathe some life back into the local e-commerce market.

The technology, dubbed 'eCheque', was developed six years ago by a consortium of Silicon Valley IT types and merchant bankers, and has subsequently been given the nod by the US Treasury. The payments system, owned by eCheques Worldwide, has also recently made its Australian debut through a pilot with online dental exchange, Just4Dental.

The payment system uses digitally signed XML documents that provide mechanisms to authenticate parties to a transaction. In addition, the document provides a payload to carry the valuable part of the transaction such as an invoice or a payment.

The eCheque works exactly like a paper cheque in that it is a legally binding promise to pay. The digital signatures, which will most likely be issued in Australia by Identrus or Gatekeeper, act as handwritten signatures to prove authenticity. They can carry out the standard function of person, business, payroll, travellers' or cashier cheques, as well as performing specialised functions such as cashletters and settlement between financial institutions.

ECheques Worldwide believes that electronic cheques take up where credit cards fall down for a number of reasons, but primarily because the transaction is directly between the payer and the payee. This eliminates the need for a third-party credit issuer, and overcomes the problems associated with limited acceptance of credit cards, or multiple account signatories.

ECheques Worldwide will be targetting emerging e-markets, where paper transactions are becoming increasingly rare, and has already been in discussion with most local players.

Stephen Alexander, director of strategy and planning at eCheque Worldwide, predicts that electronic cheque technology will let exchanges streamline their business processes.

"This will be achieved by integrating the payment processes with the already established document exchanges that are currently being used by industry," he said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ronda Field

Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?