It has over 3 million accounts, a quarter of which are active, and has total assets of $61 million (e-gold 4). For a decade-long company, it has not grown much compared to the largest online payment system, Paypal, which claims to do $60 million worth of transactions daily.
e-gold transactions are 100 percent backed by metal deposits and are not reversible, which means that unlike credit card transactions, once a transaction is made there is no possibility that it can be cancelled. e-gold can be used to pay for transactions over other merchant websites and makes its money from maintenance fees that range up to 1 percent of the total transaction amount.
Based on personal experience, the website is easy to use, getting an account is fast, and the fees are reasonable. The website (www.e-gold.com) is open 24/7 so account holders can transact anytime and anywhere.
Users avail of e-gold for several types of transactions. They can have funds transferred to their e-gold account, and then have it transferred to a bank account in any currency using a reliable third party site like OmniPay or The Gold Shop.
A user does this by simply logging on to a personal e-gold account, "spend" the desired amount (say, $1,000 worth of e-gold) into OmniPay, take note of the spend batch number issued for the transaction, log out of e-gold, log in to OmniPay, and fill up a bank transfer form with instructions to OmniPay to transfer the $1,000 that was "spent" or sold less fees to any bank account anywhere in the world.
The funds take anywhere from two to five days to reach the bank account.
Users normally tested the system by transferring small amounts, and when it worked they began moving bigger amounts of money. When someone anywhere in the world wants to pay an e-gold account holder, they give instructions to pay via e-gold by buying the e-currency and "spending" the amount to the user's account.
The user can check his or her e-gold account from anywhere, even from a hot spot on a beach resort in the French Riviera, so they will know whether the payments have gone through or the funds have been transferred to the specified bank account. The user can then do transactions from there.
This writer has been using e-gold for over a year now, and is happy with the service. This is the reason why this analysis on e-business security was done on this company, which has been only too happy to oblige and share information with me for this paper.
Choosing the Standard
One problem with selecting a standard to evaluate the e-business security issues of a merchant website is that there are too many standards to choose from. The main reason is simple: the chosen standard becomes a cash flow machine for the firm that develops it.
There are several companies like Verisign, Oracle, IBM, and a host of other for-profit and not-for-profit institutions known by their acronyms: SEI, IETF, NIST, W3C, SAI, ISACA. The list is seemingly endless.
The Europe-based International Organization of Standards is known for its ISO standards, the more famous of which are the ISO 9000 series used by companies to document their total quality management programs (Arnold 15). The letters ISO/IEC prefix its standards, which are adopted in both the U.S. and Europe. The British Standards Institute (BSI) is a similar organization that has several years of experience developing working standards for many industries.