A new internet payment system has been launched in the UK to offer users safer online shopping.
The eWise network is designed to keep customer bank details secure and reduce online fraud.
Unlike other internet payment systems, the eWise network enables transactions without any financial or personal details being made available to either the retailer or eWise.
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Instead, it relies on the transfer of funds directly between bank accounts.
Mark Matthews, managing director at eWise Systems, said, "The system is not trying to reinvent online payments. It is a much-needed addition to the sector, offering security for consumers and flexibility for retailers."
Customers using the eWise network to make an online payment draw directly from existing bank funds, and they are not restricted to paying from one account or card, where, for example, accounts are linked.
Anyone with an account at a supported UK bank can pay using the eWise network if the online retailer offers it as a payment option.
To use it, customers download the eWise network software and choose their bank from a drop-down menu.
They will then be directed straight to their bank's website, where they will log in as usual and confirm the payment.
None of the customer's log-in details and financial information are released to eWise or to the online retailer.
The eWise technology facilitates the payment and provides a receipt to the customer and online retailer to confirm the transaction details.
On the retail side, the eWise network allows online retailers to keep customers that may have otherwise dropped out at the checkout stage, because they weren't happy to provide their financial details.
Retailers are also not affected by the charge-back costs incurred through credit card transactions. And, unlike other payment systems, there are no monthly charges - retailers are only charged per transaction.
The system has just completed its testing phase with a selection of UK-based online retailers, and is now looking to bring on board merchants for a full commercial roll-out.