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Article Editor: Carly Zander


Graphcard.com, Announces an Online Payment Solution Available to Internet Shoppers Worldwide

BETHESDA, MD - May 12, 2004 /Send2Press Newswire/ -- Graphcard.com, a division of LFR Communications, Inc., an online payment company headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, today announced the launch of a new online payment solution. Graphcard allows merchants and buyers worldwide to buy and sell products securely online, reducing complexity of past methods.

Since the launch of electronic commerce 8 years ago, the most popular and established form of payment for goods and services online is credit cards or debit cards. Beginning in 1999, companies like PayPal® emerged to cater to the needs of small businesses and macropayments online, however Paypal is only available to selected countries and credit cards are required to use the service.

Millions of Under-Served Customers
"At least one third of the estimated 750 million internet users worldwide do not have credit cards to buy or sell goods online due to the inability of their countries to accept credit cards," says Catherine Berruer, Vice President of LFR, Inc. "The cost of credit card company application fees, monthly maintenance fees, and loading fees are often too costly for individuals and businesses in developing countries. Graphcard.com allows merchants and buyers with or without traditional credit cards to equally participate in the growing e-commerce online."

Regional World Internet Usage 2004

    Africa 10,095,200
    Asia 229,906,112
    Europe 204,557,409
    Middle East 14,472,500
    North America 215,988,656
    Latin America/Caribbean 49,504,287
    Oceania 15,654,792

Merchants Wary of Extending Credit in Developing Nations
Even when credit cards are available, many online merchants are wary of orders from certain countries. Customers can report nonreceipt of merchandise to their card issuer, who immediately refunds the money to the customer leaving businesses holding the bag. Many online businesses therefore, are not prepared to take risks with orders originating from developing countries. As a consequence, there are a growing number of under-served Internet users with disposable income to purchase goods and services online, who can't.

This group of people need access to a secure form of payment that will allow them to buy and sell goods and services online, or simply be able to participate in online auctions, upgrade their Yahoo email accounts or pay for subscription services like online dating. Graphcard.com has come up with a solution for all of these concerns, which is now available to all Internet users worldwide.

Here's How it Works
All Graphcard holders have a prepaid card, which ensures maximum security and peace of mind for merchants and shoppers alike. Graphcard.com incorporates the existing global electronic infrastructure into their electronic payment services, allowing for distant and distributed potential buyers and sellers.

Users create a free account at www.graphcard.com. For shoppers wishing to pay for goods and services online, prepaid Graphcards are available for purchase from distributors in their home countries. At the back of each card is a secure PIN number that must be used to load cash into the account.

Graphcard.com also has a service available to help buyers make payments by certified check or money order within twenty-four hours. Individual and business accounts are available and all payments are made in US dollars. And because participating merchants pay the small handling fees, Graphcard.com's basic service remains completely free for online shoppers.

In addition to boosting local economies, existing online portals such as Yahoo!®, Ebay® and MSN® will experience a boost in their customer base support for their subscription services like email, online dating, etc. "It's a win-win situation," says Berruer.

logo (c) "With the tremendous surge in Internet usage world wide," Berruer continues. "Graphcard will be extremely beneficial and welcomed in many countries such as Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East where credits cards are not easily acceptable. By enabling these businesses to sell online, a formidable opportunity will be created locally; local economies will benefit tremendously, as will all sectors of the global economy. Graphcard is undoubtedly the best online payment system available for millions of under-served Internet users worldwide."



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