An automated payment system, is provided which compares a payee's (70) customer information (76) with a consolidated master list of credit card accounts having account numbers. The consolidated database contains credit card account information (57) from multiple credit card issuers. The system allows the selection, of a particular credit card account to use when several credit cards are located for a customer. Credit card account information matching the customer is encrypted (53) and provided to the payee. The customer authorizes payment from its credit card account, which is provided in encrypted form, and thus does not have to provide the information itself. The payee collects the invoices or subscription offers with the payment authorization and submits it to a service bureau which decrypts the credit card account number and processes payment from that customer's account to the payee.