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VeriFone unveils SET software

VeriFone's new software suite for SET trials tops a list of announcements as e-commerce players get ready to cash in.

Betting that banks and the credit card industry are getting serious about the Internet, VeriFone (VFI) today unveiled a suite of software products to let merchants and financial institutions participate in trials using the Secure Electronic Transactions protocol.

VeriFone's news topped a list of SET-related announcements today in conjunction with the RSA Data Security developers conference. RSA itself, Visa, VeriSign, Terisa, IBM, and Spyrus also had SET-related announcements.

The SET protocol is due to be finalized by Visa and Mastercard April 14, with a full version of SET reference code to be released June 13. SET is designed to enable secure credit card transactions over the Internet.

VeriFone announced a bundle of its Internet commerce products called SET Pilot Products, designed for trials now ramping up in Europe and Asia. It includes vPOS Web merchant software, vGate software for banks and credit-card transaction processors, and vWallet software for buyers.

VeriFone will partner with Hewlett-Packard to deliver software, hardware, and integration services for financial institutions participating in various SET trials. VeriFone expects to announce its first customer for the product Tuesday.

Jumping into the same market are Spyrus and Maithean, which said their NetPay SET Payment Solution is now available. The bundle, which integrates Spyrus smart cards and Maithean software, includes NetPay Wallet, NetPay Merchant, and NetPay Gateway. The two companies said their system will interoperate with other SET-compliant systems, including those of certificate authorities VeriSign and GTE's Cybertrust, which issues digital IDs.

Spyrus also announced that its standard smart card is being upgraded to support SET.

IBM announced that its Net.Commerce Payment software for banks, merchants, and consumers has been cleared for export by the U.S. government. That means global customers can use the same SET-compliant software overseas as it uses domestically.

IBM also announced that a SET-compliant version of its IBM Registry software is now in beta testing. The product lets banks or card issuers act as a certification authority (CA), or it can help such companies manage public keys of its customers. In March, IBM will begin beta testing World Registry, its outsourcing service for SET-compliant CA services for merchants and banks that don't want to set up their own certificate authority.

Terisa Systems, an Internet security tools company, today announced general availability of SeureWeb Payments, an add-on to Terisa's SecureWeb Toolkit that supports SET. Terisa, which is writing the draft implementation of the SET protocol, said a partial release is now available for download from the Visa and MasterCard Web sites. The reference code also will be used for interoperability testing by Science Applications International.

On the interoperability front, Visa confirmed today that it has issued the first SET digital certificate under its name. VeriSign issued the digital ID for Visa under the Visa brand. The request and issuance of the certificate involved software from IBM, Maithean, and VeriFone, demonstrating a level of interoperability.

RSA, sponsor of the encryption conference, on Tuesday will demonstrate a purchase on the Internet using SET with credit card issuer American Express, Web commerce software vendor Open Market, and French smart card manufacturer GemPlus.