DigiCash tries real money

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DigiCash, a New York- and Amsterdam-based electronic commerce company, on Monday will announce that Mark Twain Bank, St. Louis, will be the first bank to issue real e-cash accounts on the Internet. DigiCash has tested its system using "Monopoly money" for several months with 100 Internet vendors.

Mark Twain Bank will open e-cash accounts on the Web for up to 10,000 people, said Daniel Eldridge, VP for e-cash business development at DigiCash."On Monday you can open an account with them and buy e-cash just as you would out of an ATM," Mr. Eldridge said.

DigiCash is negotiating with vendors to actually use the system. Applications include information available on a pay-per-download basis, small purchases and listserv participation, Mr. Eldridge said.

Among the vendors that have tested the e-cash system are HotWired and Britannica Online.

Site owners could also use DigiCash's technology to pay users to participate in surveys, fill out forms or register, Mr. Eldridge said.

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