InterPay: Managing Multiple Payment Mechanisms
in Digital Libraries
Steve B. Cousins
Steven P. Ketchpel
Scott W. Hassan
We propose an architecture called InterPay for managing financial
interactions with for-pay digital library services. The
approach accommodates multiple payment mechanisms, interaction models,
and charging policies. Key components of our model are payment
agents and payment capabilities that encapsulate payment
policy and the details of payment on behalf of the user.
Collection agents and collection capabilities provide similar
encapsulation for the service provider. The architecture supports
interactions ranging from individual users directly
interacting with the service provider to institutional users accessing
information brokers via a corporate library.
We also describe a prototype system that implements the InterPay
architecture, allowing access to real services under
varying payment policies.
KEYWORDS: internet commerce, payment mechanisms, payment agent,
collection agent, interoperability, distributed objects,
object-oriented programing, CORBA, charging protocols, charging policies,
In an ideal world, access to information and
services would be free.
However, collecting and providing access to information and services is
expensive and these costs must be recouped.
To permit this recovery, a number of
electronic payment methods have been developed,
including First Virtual [firstV],
NetCheque [netCh], DigiCash [digiC], and many others are on the way.
These mechanisms have different properties, and it is
unlikely that any single one will be sufficient for universal use.
Therefore, clients and services need to handle a variety of protocols.
Users of a digital library will access it in many ways,
involving different payment strategies.
For example, sometimes a user
will directly contact an information provider, but at other times,
there may be several layers of intermediaries: a university library,
a for-pay information broker, and/or a database company that provides
access to multiple independent databases. The different parties
involved in an interaction might require different payment types or
might allow new payment types, such as the corporate customer accounts
used to access Knight-Ridder's Dialog Information
Service [dialog]. These parties might also have different
policies, for instance charging a fixed monthly rate, charging for
connect time, or charging per document retrieved.
Our goal is to develop an architecture that can effectively
support this wide variety of charging policies and payment protocols.
Another difficult aspect of financial transactions is authorization. On the
one hand, the user needs to be protected from fraudulent charges and needs
to be informed of mounting transaction costs. On the other hand, seeking
explicit authorization for all transactions may be too disruptive when
there are a large number of ``micro-transactions.''
In addition, there may be more than a single person involved in the
authorization, e.g., the end-user, his superior, or a broker
working for the end-user or his organization.
In our InterPay architecture, it is possible to separate
the authorization policies from the rest of the information
processing activities and to provide convenient user interfaces to
the required people.
Each of these aspects, diverse payment mechanisms, diverse charging models,
and diverse user interactions, is a potential source of complexity
for library clients and services.
If they are implemented in an ad hoc way, it will be difficult
to add new functionality as required.
The InterPay architecture we propose here provides a principled way
of managing this complexity by creating modular agents and capabilities.
It provides the ``glue'' that allows heterogeneous payment
mechanisms and policies to be used interchangeably.
In the next section, we introduce the major components of the
We will then
present a detailed example,
showing how search and payment processes are treated
in InterPay, and showing the specific message exchanges that take place.
In the ``Other Scenarios and Variations'' section, we will introduce
variations and other scenarios to show how our approach
A preliminary version of the InterPay architecture has been implemented,
allowing charges to be made and authorized
as actual information sources are accessed.
We conclude with a brief
overview of our working prototype, and
discuss some other issues raised by our work.
The appendix contains a table of messages used for
communication between the major InterPay components.
The InterPay Architecture
Our InterPay Architecture separates the task of accessing and paying
for information into three layers: services, payment policies,
and payment mechanisms. These layers correspond to how payment
occurs in the real world.
To illustrate, consider a father shopping for a toy with
his child. Once the child selects the toy, payment is made, but the child
does not care whether payment is accomplished by cash, check, or credit
card. Once the father decides to pay with a credit card, the details
of money transfer and verification are handled by a combination of the
card itself and the verification device. The services layer
corresponds to the interaction between the child and the store; the
payment policy layer corresponds to the father; and the payment
mechanisms layer corresponds to the credit card used for the purchase.
We are using distributed object technology to implement InterPay. This
technology is well suited for the high degree of modularity inherent in the
InterPay architecture. It allows us to construct entities
that directly correspond to components in the InterPay model. Payment
agents, for instance, are implemented as objects. Our implementation
generally accesses independent services, such as online information
sources, through objects we call library service proxies. Each of
these objects provides a message-based interface to the service it
The methods of a library service proxy object
ensure that the corresponding
appropriate actions will be taken in the actual service. When we speak of
``sending a message to a service,'' it should be understood that the
message is being sent to a library service proxy which invokes the
appropriate method to produce the proper
behavior from the actual service.
Figure 1: The InterPay Architecture. (PC_i denotes a ``payment
capability'' of the Payment Agent, and CC_i denotes a
``collection capability'' of the Collection Agent.)
The InterPay model is shown graphically in Figure 1.
Ovals in the figure denote distributed objects. Entities shown in a cloud
are outside services that are autonomous and whose interaction protocols
cannot be changed. Links between nodes indicate communication paths which
are implemented as messages sent between objects. When the communication
involves an outside service, other links such as telephone lines,
telnet connections or http transactions may be used.
At the payment policy layer, a payment agent negotiates for an
acceptable mode of payment with the service's collection agent.
Payment agents receive and process invoices, validate that the charge
is to be paid, and invoke a particular payment capability that
will complete the transaction. As the mediator between the user and
the collection agent, the payment agent is a critical component that
must be flexible, extensible, and reliable.
A collection agent is conceptually symmetric to the payment agent. A
collection agent is associated with any party receiving money, and
interacts directly with the payment agent. Its responsibility is to
generate an invoice for a charge, then ensure that the payment for the
invoice is of an appropriate form and is credited to the service's
account. The collection agent is invoked whenever the service wants
to levy a charge against a user. This might occur before a service
request is started, before results are returned, or just because a
certain amount of connect time has passed.
Each available means of payment, such as a Visa card, a First Virtual
account, or DigiCash dollars, is encapsulated in a payment
capability. Payment capabilities encapsulate both the data
pertaining to the specific payment model, and the operations necessary
to accomplish the payment transactions. Examples of payment
model-specific data are Visa numbers or Dialog account
numbers. An example of a model-specific operation is the response to
an electronic mail confirmation request that is expected by the First
Virtual payment scheme [firstV].
When a payment capability is invoked with an invoice, the payment
agent has already established that the invoice is legitimate, so it is
only necessary to pay the indicated amount. Each payment capability
must handle the idiosyncrasies of payment using the method of its
specialty. The payment capability must provide the collection
agent with proof (e.g., a Visa confirmation number), allowing the
collection agent to verify that its associated service has received
Just as payment agents use payment capabilities to accomplish the
payment mechanism-specific activities, collection agents employ
collection capabilities each specialized to one particular
payment mechanism. Collection capabilities can examine proofs of
payment passed from payment capabilities, and verify that the associated
payments have actually been made.
An InterPay system may contain many payment agents, collection agents,
payment or collection capabilities.
Payment (and collection) agents need to implement financial strategies
such as ``do not bother me for transactions below
50 cents,'' ``warn me if I spend more than $5 in a day or $50 in a
month,'' or ``I prefer to use DigiCash when possible.''
These strategies can be hard coded within each agent,
but often they involve interactions with users at the time of payment.
Thus, each agent may have an associated user interface to one
or more users.
For example, one interface we have implemented in our prototype
is a ``taxi meter'' interface (see the ``Discussion'' section below).
This shows the accrued charges in much the same way a taxi meter does.
In addition, this interface provides a set of ``sliders''
where the user can set limits for payments.
The payment agent can also decide which user(s) it interacts with;
e.g., the end-user receiving the information may not be the one
making the payment decisions.
The InterPay architecture separates the
task-related concerns from financial
interactions (as shown in Figure 1.
This simplifies the tasks of decision makers and programmers
for both the information provider and the consumer.
This will be illustrated by the following detailed example,
which shows the message flow and operations involved in a typical library
Joe, a computer consultant, is accessing a for-pay information broker
that provides both search and retrieval services.
From Joe's point of view, he interacts with two distinct
One is his query interface, represented by the
query interface object in Figure 2.
It is an instance
of a general class of user-level components which could be
substituted for one another. For example, Joe might have available
two separate query interfaces, one for very simple queries, and a second
that supports a much more complex query model.
Figure 2: Interactions Among InterPay Components.
The second component Joe interacts with is his payment agent.
For instance, Joe may have configured his payment agent
(say by setting the sliders on his agent's interface)
to warn him only if the cost of a transaction exceeds $10, or
the total amount spent exceeds $500.
Again, Joe could actually have more than one payment agent available.
For example, Joe might have
one payment agent for corporate clients, and another one
for non-profit client organizations. The policies enforced by the two
payment agents, or the user interfaces they present, would differ.
The InterPay architecture makes the query interfaces and payment
That is, Joe could use the corporate payment agent with either interface,
and the simple query interface could be used with either payment agent.
Each component presents the same interface to other objects,
regardless of its internal policies or the interfaces it presents to users.
We will now step through a particular search in detail. We will assume that
Joe has configured his payment agent to use Visa where possible. He
is making a request to the information broker,
which charges $1.50 per requested citation.
Figure 2 outlines the flow of messages
between objects. There are six major
phases to the communication, represented by the numbered arcs in
Figure 2. These phases are:
We consider each of these phases in turn, describing the processing that
occurs and the communication between the parties. The specific messages
are described in the appendix, but the names are
sufficiently evocative to suggest their purpose.
- Set up the session and make a request.
- Initiate a charge.
- Send an invoice.
- Validate invoice and agree on a payment mechanism.
- Initiate the fund transfer.
- Verify the payment and complete the transaction.
In the example we use the following abbreviations:
QI: QI.SessionID = BP.StartSession(PA)
means that the
query interface sends message Start-Session to the Broker proxy
object, passing a pointer to a payment agent as a parameter. The result is
stored in the query interface's SessionID variable.
- QI & the query interface
- BP & the Information Broker's proxy
- PA & payment agent
- CA & collection agent
- PC & payment capability (Visa in this example)
- CC & collection capability (Visa)
This example shows that the details of payment have been effectively
separated from the task layer. The service merely requested that an amount
be charged and received notification when the payment process was
completed. The service was oblivious to the details of the payment request,
negotiation about payment mechanisms, or missteps along the way to eventual
payment. The query interface was similarly uninvolved with the payment,
delegating all details to the payment agent. The payment agent and
collection agent were isolated from the particulars of the selected payment
mechanism, ignorant of the means by which Visa was contacted, and the
challenge/response verification which convinced the collection capability
that payment was complete. Since the payment mechanisms are completely
separate objects, it is possible to add new ones without changing the
implementation of either payment or collection agent. The specification of
the charging policy (how much to charge and when) still lies within the
service, allowing a service provider ultimate control over its business
Set up the session and make a request. Joe makes a query, which
gets directed to the query interface object. Joe's query interface
the Broker proxy to create a session which will allow the Broker to
submit all future charges to the appropriate payment agent. Joe makes a
query in this session, and warns his payment agent to expect a bill for the
- QI: QI.SessionID = BP.StartSession(PA)
- QI: BP.AnswerQuery(QI.SessionID, "Digital Libraries and
- QI: PA.ExpectCharge(QI.SessionID, "Digital Libraries and NSF")
Initiate a charge. The Broker proxy relays the query to the ``real''
Information Broker, which returns say 16 relevant documents costing $1.50
each. Before the Broker proxy releases results, it tells its collection
agent to request payment for the citations from the payment agent. The
Broker proxy generates and passes a TransactionID, which the
collection agent will reference when the payment is complete. The
Charge call is asynchronous, which allows the Broker proxy to do other
work while the payment is being processed.
- BP: CA.Charge(PA, SessionID, TransactionID,
"Results for Digital Libraries and NSF
Send an invoice. The collection agent creates an invoice,
indicates what means of payment it is willing to accept, and asks for
payment from Joe's payment agent. The invoice contains the Session ID,
amount, description, and a reference to the collection agent issuing
- CA: PA.AuthorizePayment(Invoice, [FV, Visa, ACCT])
Validate the invoice and agree on payment mechanism. Joe's payment
agent needs to determine if the invoice is for a legitimate charge. In our
example, this amounts to checking whether the query interface has filed an
ExpectCharge matching this transaction, which it has. Alternatively,
the payment agent could have required that the query interface specify a
maximum amount that may be paid for the query; or it might have required
only a valid session ID (for further discussion, see the discussion on
Next, the payment
agent has to decide if the amount of the charge is acceptable. Since
nothing was specified in the ExpectCharge call and the requested
$24 exceeds the $10 threshold that Joe established, the payment agent
seeks verification before proceeding with payment. Joe responds
affirmatively to the dialog box raised by his ``taxi meter''
interface, so the payment agent proceeds to select which financial
instrument it will use to pay the invoice from the list supplied by
the collection agent. In our example, Visa is acceptable for the
collection agent and is the user-preferred method, so it is selected.
- PA: if not PA.Payable(Invoice) raise exception
- PA: PC = PA.SelectCapability(Invoice, [Visa, FV, ACCT])
Initiate the fund transfer.
The amount of the charge and the payment destination are
passed to the Visa payment capability, along with a pointer to the
collection agent's Visa collection capability. The Visa payment
the steps specific to a Visa transaction, such as obtaining the Broker's Visa
account ID from the collection capability and contacting the Visa
company via phone or other channels to
request the transfer of funds. Visa returns a confirmation of the
transaction, showing the amount that was transferred between accounts.
- PA: PC.TransferFunds(Invoice)
- PC: PC.HereIsYourProof(Invoice, Proof) (2)
Verify the payment. The payment capability passes the receipt from
Visa on to the collection capability, which verifies that the money really
was transferred to the collection agent's account. In this example, that
verification process might include checking Visa's digital signature
[DiffieHellman] on the receipt of the transfer. The collection
capability informs the collection agent that it considers the invoice paid.
The collection agent issues a receipt to the payment agent, and informs the
Broker proxy that the payment has been made, without elaborating on payment
details. The service consequently releases the search results.
(Additional queries could follow the same procedure, possibly using the same
- PC: CC.CheckThis(Invoice, Proof)
- CC: CA.ProofChecksOut(Invoice)
- CA: PA.HereIsYourReceipt(Receipt)
- CA: BP.PaymentAccepted(SessionID,TransactionID)
- BP: QI.HereAreYourResults(Results)
Other Scenarios and Variations
In this section, we introduce some variations on InterPay. We also present
two more scenarios to demonstrate how the InterPay model generalizes to
various situations common in the context of work involving the use of
digital libraries. The first scenario shows how our framework can handle
intermediaries, bulk-rate issues, and privacy issues. The second scenario
explores how third-party payment might be handled, and gives one approach
to addressing the social issue of information access for the disadvantaged.
Unification: Financial Agents
In our initial implementation, we had separate classes for payment
agents and collection agents. As we implemented methods in the
payment agent to handle refunds, we discovered that we were repeating
capabilities that collection agents already had for receiving
payments. Therefore, we are extending InterPay to include the notion
of a financial agent that unifies the payment and collection agents.
Payment agent and collection agent are simply
roles that specific financial agents play in each
transaction, i.e., a financial agent might serve as the payment
agent for one transaction and a collection agent in another.
A financial agent should handle all of the messages of payment agents and
collection agents. When acting as a payment agent, it would contain many
payment capabilities, but few collection capabilities. These collection
capabilities (refund capabilities) would correspond to refund
mechanisms, such as the ability to
receive change from a digital cash system, or to rescind a credit card
charge. Notice that the refund capability for a credit card is different
than a full collection capability.
In particular, a refund capability does not give one the ability
to charge others' credit cards.
A type of library service that these general financial agents are
particularly well-suited to handle is money-changing (3).
A money-changing service could convert currencies (receive
payment in dollars and pay out yen), or payment types (receive
DigiCash and pay First Virtual).
The wide availability of such services would reduce the need for
each library service to support many different payment and collection
Scenario: Library Intermediary
Library accesses frequently go through intermediaries
that charge their clients and pay the ultimate sources.
Jane, who works for a large computer manufacturer, wants to
use an information broker to find out more about a new algorithm she
heard about in a seminar.
Her department has an account for such searches.
Jane could access the information broker directly,
charging her department.
However, her company's corporate library also provides access
to the broker, and has a bulk rate discount.
Thus, Jane prefers to go through the corporate library.
(The library could also provide ``value added'' services,
for instance, providing links to the library's holdings when appropriate.)
Figure 3 shows how this scenario could be implemented
The payment agent for Jane's department is on the left;
the one for the corporate library on the right.
When the information broker wants to collect on an invoice for
Jane's search, it contacts the library payment agent,
which perhaps tenders a blanket purchase order number as payment.
In turn, the library charges Jane's payment agent,
perhaps a higher amount to cover its costs.
Figure 3: Corporate Library Pays for Client Searhces. (Boxes in this
figure represent a user's view of services, so collection agents are
The structure of Figure 3 generalizes to multiple
intermediaries, for example,
when the information source itself collects information from other sources.
This allows for site
licenses and discounts to be implemented within InterPay.
This example also illustrates how to provide privacy without
anonymous payment, under the assumption that the library can be
trusted not to forward the user's identity. This is a fairly
reasonable assumption, as many libraries already recognize this issue,
and allow users to protect the privacy of their information accesses.
Scenario: Student on Scholarship
Harris is an undergraduate student at a private university on
scholarship. As part of his scholarship, he was given access to a
payment agent to use for school-related information access. The
granting agency controls the payment agent and has programmed it to
deny expenses for extracurricular activities.
This payment agent is opaque to the student. No ``taxi meter'' will
appear when Harris accesses the digital library.
He cannot tell whether his purchases are being paid for
on a purchase order or with digital cash.
However, the agent may have an interface to the scholarship agency
in case someone there needs to authorize expenses or set policies
in a dynamic fashion.
The payment agent can implement a variety of policies for
the scholarship agency.
For example, if the campus bookstore has a ``branch'' for
course-related materials only, the scholarship agency might take advantage
of this by programming the payment agent to allow purchases only from that
restricted branch. Another possibility is to require machine-parseable
descriptions at the payment policy layer, such that agents in general can
be programmed to distinguish the digital equivalents of course materials
from newspapers or pornography.
If such labelling were instituted,
the scholarship agency could take advantage of it when
configuring the payment agent.
We have described the InterPay architecture and shown how it can be used in
several scenarios. In this section, we step back to discuss the current
implementation and some issues we are addressing, including security,
performance, and the notion of trust.
As part of Stanford's work for the NSF/ARPA/NASA sponsored initiative on
Digital Libraries [CACMstanford],
a prototype of the InterPay architecture was implemented
in a combination of C++ and Python [python],
using Xerox PARC's ILU distributed
object system (a CORBA implementation) [ILU]. A single program
accesses three different existing
information sources: Knight-Ridder's Dialog Information Service, the
World-Wide Web (via WebCrawler), and INSPEC through an on-campus
access point. The prototype
uses different charging policies for each service. The payment capabilities
are not currently hooked in to real financial institutions, but work only
with place holders.
The interface to the system has two components, a World-Wide Web browser
and a Python/Tk (X-windows) interface to the payment agent. The browser
accesses a Python script which has an ILU module linked in, and which
generates search forms and formats pages in response to searches. The
payment agent interface lists transactions, shows the current amount spent,
and provides an easy way to set the threshold levels, such as at what level
to require confirmation (``don't bother me for less than
$.50'') or the maximum to spend. We expect this interface to evolve
significantly as the system becomes more complex.
We find two security vulnerabilities in the system described, but
believe that both of them can be taken care of with features added at
the level of the distributed object system. First, there is the
hazard that an eavesdropper can listen to messages that travel over
the network and use the captured information to make fraudulent
charges. Since any piece of data travelling over the network is
potentially valuable and costly if disclosed, a general solution that
goes beyond the limited scope of financial transactions is indicated.
The providers of our distributed object system have recognized the
value of encryption, and are working to offer strong encryption as an
option for security. Key management for encryption schemes may be
handled by trusted network services, such as the ones providing name
services for locating services in a distributed environment.
A second kind of threat potentially comes from impostor objects
pretending to hold financial authority. For instance, a service may
attempt to impersonate the user and declare all invoices from that
service to be payable without question. There is a range of similar
attacks all relying on the ability to ``spoof'' a different
origin. Therefore, we rely on the object system to provide
authentication of message senders. With this underlying capability,
method implementations can take into account the caller, providing
different access levels for trusted users or agents. We are also
investigating other encryption capabilities, such
as SSL [SSL].
One potential disadvantage of a layered architecture is its
The distributed object machinery (e.g., ILU)
can add overhead, compared to simple compiled function calls.
However, a preliminary performance study indicates that the
costs may be tolerable.
We conducted an evaluation of raw TCP, ILU, and HTTPD on four UNIX machines
ranging from a DEC Alpha to a 486-25 laptop (running
Our results are presented in [Hassan95];
here we briefly comment on some of them.
On unloaded machines we can achieve between
6.7 and 430 ILU method calls per second.
about 8 times slower than raw TCP messages flowing over an open socket, and
compares to the maximum of 6 WWW pages per second which we obtained on an
RS6000 (the best result).
We estimate that the InterPay protocols implemented on ILU add a 10%
response time overhead to a simple transaction that accesses
a single WWW page.
This is assuming our financial operations add 8 ILU method calls,
and does not consider delays incurred by the actual
There are several ways in which this overhead can be reduced.
For example, as ILU matures, its performance will likely improve.
Also, some of the financial operations can be done concurrently with
the library accesses.
A variety optimizations can be applied to
payment and collection agents, some of which are mentioned below.
Once clients and services have an established history of interaction,
they may opt to modify their transactions to reflect this increased
trust. Requiring payment verification before any information is
returned guarantees payment, but forces the client to wait longer to
get results. With trusted parties, the service might perform the
requested work right away, rather than waiting until payment has been
approved, under the assumption that a user with a good history is
unlikely to deny payment later. Similarly, a user might be willing to
authorize payment for all invoices from a given service (not requiring
an explicit ExpectCharge call for each one) on the grounds that the
service is unlikely to risk the loss of all future business to submit
one bogus invoice.
Another variation possible if trust is established between client and
service is for payment agents to refrain from making payments themselves
(via a payment capability). If a service is trusted, the payment agent can
instead pass account information, such as a Visa number, to the service's
collection agent. Payment could then be carried out by the collection
agent, bypassing several interactions required by the standard
protocol. This variation has the additional property that a service can feel
somewhat more secure, because it does not need to rely on its ability
to verify proof of payment. Our standard protocol does place payment
control at the client side to avoid wide dissemination of
access codes, like credit card numbers.
We have described an architecture which allows many payment mechanisms to
coexist, which supports many payment policies, and which simplifies user
interactions in a for-pay digital library. These goals have been achieved
by encapsulating the economic aspects of the library into a payment agent
and a collection agent, so that the user and service are effectively
isolated from the specific details of heterogeneous payment mechanisms.
The specific details of payment mechanisms have also been encapsulated into
objects, so that the payment and collection agents can be programmed by
people who understand payment policies, but not necessarily payment
details. Not only do these divisions simplify the interconnections among
the modules, they also enable modules to be replaced, or new modules to be
added. In this manner, the charging and collection functions are separated
from the library-related services, and become first-class library services
on their own.
The high degree of flexibility inherent in the InterPay architecture takes
on added importance in the face of the ongoing debate about the place of
fair use in digital libraries. Fair use laws limit copyright protection if
copies of materials are used for the public good. The future of this law
for digital libraries is under debate. Flexibility is required for
InterPay to allow efficient future implementations of the resulting
policies. We have implemented a prototype which currently accesses three
online information services under varying payment policies.
We are grateful to Bill Janssen of Xerox PARC for ILU, James Kittock of
Stanford for early discussions, and Vicky Reich and Rebecca Lasher
of the Stanford Libraries for helpful discussions about fair use
and library users.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science
Foundation under Cooperative Agreement IRI-9411306.
Funding for this cooperative agreement is also provided by ARPA, NASA,
and the industrial partners of the Stanford Digital Libraries Project.
Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed
in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect
the views of the National Science Foundation or the other sponsors.
The prototype was developed on machines supplied by the Digital Equipment
corporation, the Hewlett Packard corporation, and the IBM corporation.
A. Courtney, W. Janssen, D. Severson, M. Spreitzer, and F. Wymore.
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Appendix: InterPay Messages
Payment Agent Messages
- AddCapability (client program/user )
- Empowers the PA with an additional payment mechanism.
For example, the user may provide the PA with a Visa
- SetLimit (client program/user )
- Establishes a value for the parameter that determines when the
PA automatically accepts or rejects invoices.
- SetMaximum (client program/user )
- Establishes the amount at which the PA will refuse to
pay for further services.
- ExpectCharge (client program/user )
- Asserts that a service has been requested. This message causes the
PA to accept an associated invoice for further
- Payable (payment agent )
- Determines whether a newly received invoice is legitimate. May
depend on the fact that it is ``expected'', came from a recognized
source, or was accepted by the user when interactively asked for
- SelectCapability (payment agent )
- Chooses a payment capability to use for an invoice which has been
deemed payable. May be a function of the amount, source, or
- AuthorizePayment (collection agent )
- Presents an invoice to the PA.
- HereIsYourReceipt (collection agent )
- Presents final proof of purchase, to indicate that the payment
authorization has succeeded.
Collection Agent Messages
- Charge (service )
- Specifies a PA, an amount, and a description of service
rendered. The CA bills the PA for the
amount, and notifies the service when the money has been received.
- WillYouAccept (payment agent )
- Allows the PA to see if the CA can handle
other payment types in addition to the preferred set specified in
- ProofChecksOut (collection capability )
- When the collection capability sends this message, the collection
agent is able to inform the LSP of payment.
- Cancel (payment agent )
- Indicates the PA does not intend
to pay the submitted invoice.
(Not essential, since not
receiving payment within an allotted also
Payment Capability Messages
- TransferFunds (payment agent )
- Causes the payment capability to effect actual transfer of funds
to the service provider.
- HereIsYourProof (payment service )
- Presents proof of funds transfer to the payment capability.
Collection Capability Messages
- CheckThis (collection agent )
- Causes the collection capability to check whether an enclosed
proof of payment is valid.