FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Imagine converting a personal computer into a personal ATM., an Internet payment system, is trying to make that a reality by offering consumers an alternative to credit cards. Here is how it works: Consumers link an E-monee account to their personal bank account and can then transfer money to anyone with an email address, pay bills, and buy or sell items from E-monee’s Plaza or College-by-College site. The company charges 20 cents per transaction. One drawback for consumers is that E-monee doesn’t provide consumers the same protection as credit cards. According to a Gartner Group survey, 35% of the 2,150 consumers surveyed said they would shop more often if an alternative to credit cards existed. Gartner also surveyed 165 large online retailers with revenue over $100 million and found that 40% had goods for sale retailing up to $10, but didn’t sell those products online because of lack of a micropayment solution. “People are very nervous using their credit cards online,” said Avivah Litan, senior analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Group. “If they had an alternative to credit cards, they would shop more.”

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