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An online payment refers to money that is exchanged electronically through the use of a computer network, the Internet, or a digital stored-value system.


A wide range of systems has been developed for online payments. The analysis of online payment systems is divided into account-based and electronic currency systems. Account-based systems allow payment via an existing personalised account (usually a bank account), whereas electronic currency systems allow payment simply if the payer has an appropriate amount of electronic currency.

There are five different forms of account-based systems: i) credit cards, ii) debit cards, iii) mediating systems, iv) mobile payment and telephony account systems, and v) payments via online banking. Electronic currency systems can be divided into i) smart card and ii) online cash systems.

The main actors in the online payment industry are: i) banks, ii) credit card companies, iii) telecommunication providers, and iv) new entrants to online financial services.