Could the Solution to the E-Payment Crisis Already Exist?

7 February 2003

For all of the "alternative payment solutions" offered through the years, some believe the answer to I-gaming's payment processing woes lies in the existing banking system.

If officials with have their way, online gamblers will soon be funding their accounts through online banking services such as savings and checking accounts.

"We can fund any account."
- Brian Crozier

The company has developed a Web site that enables consumers to pay any bill, even one to an online casino or sports book, through any bank that can be accessed on the Internet

"When they want to buy casino chips they will be using their bank to do that," Joseph Iuso, the creator of the system, said.

Using the system is as easy as signing on and selecting a payment amount. If the seller has already provided the amount, it automatically appears and the consumer is asked to confirm it.

Then, UseMyBank sends the payment off to the bank, which replies with an electronic confirmation that the funds are good. Payments are shown on the account as being made to UseMyBank.

Iuso said sites can increase sales by as much as 20 percent by implementing the system. He said is the first and only payment company in the world to facilitate direct payments from online bank accounts in real time. Over 7 million online accounts are eligible to pay the merchant/sellers with zero chargebacks in real time for less than 1 percent, he said.

The company has already completed the first of three implementation phases. Iuso said phase two is under way and planning has begun for phase three.

The system currently supports all major Canadian banks, and the company hopes to add major U.S. and European banks by the second quarter of this year.

Brian Crozier,'s vice president of merchant services, feels that a major selling point for the system is that it wasn't designed specifically for I-gaming.

"It is a product that has really come about from the online banking world," Crozier said. "There are a lot of people who are banking online through their own hometown bank."

Crozier, who got to know the I-gaming industry by working for Databank in St. Kitts in the late 1990s, said the company is also seeking business from travel sites, auction sites and entertainment sites.

"Although Internet gaming is huge, and I have a background in it, it is just one component of the system," he said. "But we respect the fact that the pioneers are in online gaming. They are determined to get payment solutions, and we know that we are well positioned to help them out."

Crozier also pointed out that UseMyBank is designed to enable consumers to expand their Internet banking options.

"Everyone else who has tried this has fallen flat on their face because they can't provide [real-time verification]."
- Joseph Iuso

"This empowers consumers to have more control over when and who they pay," he said. "The main benefit is that all the buyers don't have to register and jump through all the hoops of some of the other payment schemes out there. We can fund any account."

The main element of the system is the Automated Online Payment Interface, which provides consumers the ability to make payments at their own financial institution's supported Internet site.

"It is simple from the consumer's perspective," Iuso said, "but the technology behind it is very intricate and proprietary. The trick with what we are doing is to facilitate real-time verification of that payment, which no one else can do. Everyone else who has tried this has fallen flat on their face because they can't provide that accommodation."

The Automated Clearing and Settlement system for merchants and affiliates accommodates wire transfers, checks and several other payment methods, as long as the account is accessible on the Internet.

According to Iuso, most of the traditional online payment solutions have focused on using industry standards (OFX, XML, JPOS, etc), by implementing a proprietary connection to the financial institution using interface standards (ISO 8583) or simply by using an online form for credit card, debit card or any other existing online payment service.

Those systems all require direct contact with technical and business resources within the financial institution or service providers, he said.

UseMyBank instead leverages the existing online system's functions and capabilities within the client's bank in a real-time fashion.

"Really, it works the same way a third-party processor would work. ... The only difference is the buyer wouldn't sign up," Iuso said.

The pricing matrix for the system was developed for widespread use on B2B sites that allow companies to pay their suppliers seamlessly. It creates an affordable way for users and Internet gaming companies to come on board.

The system is scaled to accommodate 10,000 users a day. Iuso would like to increase that, but hardware issues have prevented that so far. Those obstacles, he said, will be overcome, however, and he hopes they will eventually process 100,000 transactions a month.

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