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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

This case presents a set of technical issues confronting the United States Treasury eCheck Pilot Project team in January 2000. The team, which included representatives from the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Fleet Boston, Bank of America, and several hardware and software vendors, was testing a new Internet-based payment mechanism (eCheck). The system had already been tested for a year and a half with the participation of the two commercial banks (Fleet Boston, Bank of America), but this portion of the pilot was now coming to an end. During the first phase of the project, several key design choices had been made, including the use of smart cards to hold digital certificates, and specification of the information flows among the participants (payer, payee, payer bank, payee bank). Now, the system would need to be modified so that the U.S. Treasury could continue to make eCheck payments to a few defense contractors, with the help of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Two new designs are presented for evaluation.

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