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Global Merchant Gateway Beckons Offshore E-Commerce

Tax-news.com

31 October 1999


Bank of Bermuda and First Ecom.com last week announced what may be the first truly world-wide multi-currency Internet payment gateway. Through partnerships with banks, ISPs, e-commerce system integrators and storfront solution providers, First Ecom will process credit card transactions made over the Net in multiple currencies, either domestically or offshore in a tax-neutral jurisdiction (eg Bermuda).

Banks (or e-commerce providers and their banks) will be able to offer local customers merchant services in their own or another currency, with transactions coming to rest (in banking terms) in a bank anywhere in the world. For any company whose products and customers are international, this facility may be the final link that allows them to jump free of their existing base in a high-tax area. No doubt this is the Bank of Bermuda's calculation.

On the same day, Conquest Technology (www.sohotrend.com) announced its revamped site incorporating International Merchant Account gateway processing services through a partnership with, yes, First Ecom.com. Conquest serves the SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) sector who are in many respects natural customers for what 'offshore' has to offer.

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