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Internet

W3C wants new standard to pay off

The World Wide Web Consortium and CommerceNet will announce an initiative Wednesday to unify all Web payment solutions.

The World Wide Web Consortium and CommerceNet will announce an initiative Wednesday to unify all Web payment solutions.

The Joint Electronic Payments Initiative is intended to set a standard negotiating mechanism for linking payment solutions such as IBM's Internet Keyed Payment Protocols or Visa's and MasterCard's Secure Electronic Transactions (SET) protocol, which allow online merchants to conduct credit card transactions over the Internet.

Despite the W3C's influence, however, a new payment standard might have trouble gaining support this late in the game. Key industry players, such as Microsoft and Netscape Communications, have already thrown their weight behind the SET initiative, encouraging observers who believed that a single secure payment standard was already emerging.

Representatives of CommerceNet and the W3C, both industry trade organizations, could not be reached for comment.