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A Scottish software company believes it's found the perfect way to pay for goods, downloads and services over the Net without having to use any of that fancy e-commerce fluff. Lights Out Limited says its WebMetering system is the "answer to the 'micro-payments' problem" enabling punters to buy online without having to own a credit card. According to Craig Saddington of Lights Out, once a shopper decides they want to buy something from a Web site, they then hang up their Web connection (if that's their only phone line) and telephone the WebMetering Centre to obtain a unique code. They then go back online to buy the product using the code and the charge appears on their phone bill at the end of the month. The telco then passes on the revenue to the Webco. Saddington denied that this sounded like a right old rigmarole. "It's not as much work as putting in your credit name, address and card details," he said. "What's more, millions and millions and millions of people don't have a credit card so it's perfect for them. "And when broadband comes in they won't have to hang up their phone connection at all," he said. WebMetering is due to be rolled out in June 2000. Norweb Telecom is already trialling the system and other companies are also lined up to use the service. ®

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