WebFunds Features


Back to the WebFunds page or the FAQ index or the Ricardo page.

Payment Exports (i.e. sending an e-mailed payment)

WebFunds permits users to send payments to other people. These payments are similar to a standard cheque. The creation of this kind of payment is called a payment export. Exported payments can be delivered using any electronic medium. Direct modem connections, Internet e-mail, or even floppy disks can all be used to export payments.

For instructions on how to create and send an export payment see How do I Export a Payment?. At the moment, all payment exports can be cashed in by anyone who receives it. Future versions of WebFunds are likely to permit users to write Named Payments to particular people, as well as Attaching a Payment Description.

Specifying Named Payments

Although not a current feature of WebFunds, in the future Webfunds may allow you to export payments to specific people (this feature already exists for WebFunds point-and-click payments). Every user of WebFunds has a unique individual identity called a Key Holder ID (KHID). You can think of your KHID as a label attached to your secret key (see What is a key and How do I make one? for an explanation of your secret key). In the future WebFunds will permit you to export a payment written out to a specific KHID. For instructions on how to export a payment see How do I Export a Payment?. Exporting a payment to a specific KHID prevents anyone other than the intended recipient from cashing the payment. See section 4.12 for more information on the safety of e-mailed payments.

Attaching A Payment Description

A current feature of WebFunds point-and-click payments is that they allow the shops to specify what a payment is for. In the future Exported payments may also allow you to specify what a payment is for. Users would be able to write a short description of what they are purchasing and this would be attached as part of the payment. Specifying the description of what you are purchasing would offer additional protection against fraud since payment recipients must sign payments (including the purchase description) before they can cash them in.

Payment Imports (i.e. receiving an e-mailed payment)

WebFunds permits users to import and accept payments from other WebFunds users. Other users can send payments to you through nearly any medium. Internet email, direct modem connections, and floppy disks are just a few examples of how you could receive a payment. See How do I Import a Payment?. for instructions on how to import a payment. When you import a payment you have received, the payment is immediately added to the amount you hold within WebFunds. In the future WebFunds may allow you to examine payment descriptions before accepting a payment so that you don't mistakenly agree to provide a good or service you do not wish to. To see an explanation of this future feature please see Examininng Payment Descriptions for more information.

Examining Payment Descriptions

In the future WebFunds may add the facility which will allow you to examine a payment description (for e-mailed payments) before it is accepted. Every payment contains a description of what the payment is for, and WebFunds would allow you to view this description before you cash in the payment. Users are encouraged to always read payment descriptions before accepting payments, see section 8.3 under Warnings and golden rules. If you do not read your payment description you are signing and accepting a commitment you did not read - a risky proposition at best.

Purchasing using your web-browser (point-and click purchases)

Point-and-click purchases through a web-browser is one of the most attractive features of WebFunds. When browsing the World Wide Web a WebFunds user is able to click on a page to initiate a purchase. When a specific item for purchase is clicked on a new window appears with a description of the item purchased and the user is given the opportunity to approve or deny the payment. If the payment is approved then the approved amount is securely transferred to the retailer. Point-and-click payments only take a few seconds and are quite easy to use. See How do I purchase something throught my Web Browser for an explanation.

Canceling Payments

Sometimes, after creating a payment for export, you may wish to cancel that payment before it is cashed in. Much like banks give you the ability to cancel a cheque, WebFunds also allows you to cancel payments in this manner. After a payment is canceled anyone who tries to cash it in will find that the payment cannot be accepted (it bounces). See How do I cancel a payment for more information.


WebFunds maintains a detailed private record for you of all your transactions. Receipts are kept for each transaction so that you can look at past records and view how your balance has been affected by your prior transactions. These receipts are digitally signed and represent proof of your transaction. Transaction receipts include information such as the date, transaction ID, amount and payment description. See How do I look at my transaction history? for more information.