There's another option out there for consumers who don't like to buy online using credit cards. Bill Me Later, created by Timonius(Md.)- based I4 Commerce Inc, is now available on 230 e-commerce sites.
How It Works: Consumers are asked to enter their date of birth and last four digits of their social security number when making a purchase online. Based on the information entered, the system then goes through a check with credit bureaus and other data bases to either approve or deny the request. This all happens within seconds of entering the information. If the consumer request is approved they receive the bill via mail or email. The consumer has the option to pay by check, electronic funds transfer or other means.
This technology benefits both consumers and merchants. Individuals nervous about paying with a credit card have another option and merchants can tap into a new group of customers. Bill Me Later, provides a lower cost per transaction: 1.5% per transaction compared to credit card companies that charge 2% or more.
Final Thought: Does the cost and effort involved in mailing a statement, collecting a paper check, and processing that check still make it a lower cost per transaction for merchants?
"Hold The Plastic" By Peter Burrows
Business Week, January 16, 2006