From an institutional angle, there is obviously no electronic payment system for e-and m-business fulfilling "all' the users" needs and thereby avoiding all the risks. Besides regulatory pressures, niche operators that position themselves only on high revenue products and decreasing switching costs, users ask for more convenient prices and services. Banks and other traditional financial associations react to these threats applying their 'general purpose' strategy to electronic payments generating monsters like SET. Far from that, new payment strategies are needed. In the 1980s, IBM tried to manage the personal computing business with its usual, mainframe targeted, marketing and technical structure. In this way, IBM paved the way for Microsoft and lost its leadership in information systems. Today, banks are running exactly the same risk.
Even collection systems such as Paypal and Firstgate have to be considered along with pre-or post-paid systems. More than every second user today shows willingness to employ pre-paid systems, but the end of eCash and CyberCoins shows that adequate systems are not yet available. Even though less than half of the consumers like collection systems, these are enjoying commercial success. In theory, collection systems should be an ideal platform for micropayments. However, it is quite surprising that the participants are willing to use collection systems for amounts between less than 10 cents and up to more than US$50. Reasons for lack of favor of collection systems are similar to those for prepaid systems: lack of control over the budget, lack of confidence in technical realization and the systems' lack of transparency. Asked for their favorite operator of collection systems, 77 percent of the participants voted in favor of banks, nearly 60 percent were in favor of credit card companies, and independent third parties—though these are at present the main collection service providers—are only mentioned by every fifth user. Consumers' confidence in banks handling money is quite obvious (Kiefer, 2001).
Additionally, in payments, financial institutions are obliged to work closely with their competitors. After all, users expect a payment instrument to be universally recognized and accepted, whatever product and channel they choose. Interoperability is fundamental. Maintaining that interoperability, especially as products and channels become more complex, requires effective cooperation amongst banks in efficient, seamless payment networks. Without cooperation, the payment system cannot meet users' basic needs.
From an individual angle, risks remain for the user. Users may only choose either to bear remaining risks themselves or not to conduct the transaction. In order to meet the challenge and to raise payment system acceptance, however, individual risk management should be allowed for. With a software tool acting as a "virtual Internet payment assistant" it will be possible for users to put their transaction specific risk analysis and risk handling into practice, while providing users both with consultancy and with decision support.