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IBM now takes CyberCash

Big Blue is linking up with CyberCash to add Secure Sockets Layer protocol capabilities to Internet payment offerings.

IBM is linking up with CyberCash to boost Big Blue's Internet payment offerings by adding the most popular form of Internet payments today: credit or debit cards using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol.

Until now, IBM's Payment Server has handled credit card payments only under the Secure Electronic Transactions protocol, which remains in the pilot testing phase.

"They're covering their bases by expanding the number of options that a Net.Commerce customer would have," said Vernon Keenan, an e-commerce analyst at Zona Research. "Customers are pushing for non-SET solutions because the SET wallets just aren't deployed."

NetVerify merchant software from CyberCash's recent ICVerify acquisition will become a "cassette" to plug into IBM's Payment Server, and both companies will market the technology. IBM, insisting that it is still backing SET, said adding SSL provides a means for merchants to move into Internet payments via SSL, then move to SET later.

The CyberCash deal came within a series of e-commerce partnerships IBM announced today at summer Internet World in Chicago, expanding the capabilities of its Net.Commerce e-commerce software.

"Our view of e-commerce is not a view of just buying and selling or a transaction-based process," said Karl Salnoske, IBM's general manager for e-commerce. "We are looking at e-commerce as a complete life cycle. You don't just need a catalog and a shopping cart; you need a complete set of solutions to extend all your business processes onto the Web."

The 11 partnerships included ones with Net Perceptions and PersonaLogic for making personalized recommendations to customers, NetGravity and Narrative Communications for online ad technologies, and Industri-Matematik International for supply chain management.

Other partners include Business Evolution for customer service, CommercialWare for order management and fulfillment for direct marketers, Fisher Technology Group for procurement software, Garg Data International for its Pipeline new media publishing software, IMPAC Technology for tools to create Web sites and online catalogs, and Intelligent Interactions for personalization.

IBM also announced a joint initiative with PBS (Danish Payment Systems) to provide digital certificate and payment gateway facilities for European banks that are Visa members to implement SET.