A host of Internet security companies today outlined technologies designed to boost the growth of online banking and consumer-oriented e-commerce.
Much of the news centered on the Secure Electronic Transactions (SET) protocol for secure online credit card payments, but IBM (IBM) and others also unveiled for comment a new Open Trading Protocol designed to boost consumer commerce on the Net.
Mark Greene, vice president of e-commerce for IBM, also said VeriFone and IBM will publish on February 2 a reference guide to encourage SET software interoperability among all vendors. The joint interoperability work between IBM and VeriFone has drawn fire from some smaller SET vendors, but publishing the interoperability guide may diffuse such criticism.
Greene also said that NationsBank, the third largest U.S. bank, last week performed the first SET transaction in the United States based on version 1.0 of the protocol; other U.S. tests have used a trial version of SET. NationsBank's transaction charged a customer of MasterCard, which developed SET with Visa.
MasterCard and Mondex, its ecash-on-a-smart-card subsidiary, also are backing the OTP protocol, which aims to standardize how consumer purchases are made on the Net. It is intended to provide a consistent buying format regardless of hardware, software, and payment type.
OTP is designed to supplement, not compete with, other Internet commerce protocols, including SET and the EMV specification for payments with smart cards. It defines how offers to sell are made, how buyers initiate purchases, delivery, digital receipts, dispute resolution, and after-sale support.
OTP is in an open comment period now.
In other announcements addressing Internet financial transactions: