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Tech Industry

Software takes banks into account

New software from GC Tech will let buyers use their banks to pay for purchases on the Net with smart cards and other devices.

A new version of Internet payment software from GC Tech will let buyers use their banks as intermediaries to pay for purchases on the Net with smart cards and credit cards in multiple currencies.

Version 1.5 of GlobeID Payment Internet software will be available to banks and other licensed third parties by the end of March. The software is now being used by Kleline, a division of the French Paribas banking group, and tested by Brazilian bank Banco Bamerindus.

The payment software is being marketed to banks, which can customize its features for customers. Founded in France and now based in New York, GC Tech can handle currencies from various countries, an advantage for international companies.

Under GC Tech's payment system, a buyer's sensitive financial data need not be transmitted over the Net. Instead, merchants and buyers conduct online transactions through a "trusted intermediary" such as a bank or other financial institution. The institution secures payment and certifies and authenticates the offer and order.

Version 1.5 will be "SET-ready," meaning that it will support the Secure Electronic Transactions protocol for credit cards when it is finalized later this year. It lets merchants specify types of payment (credit cards, debit accounts, micropayments, stored value cards, frequent flier miles), as well as card brands.

Merchants also can offer incentives, such as price discounts or bonus points, to encourage consumers to use their preferred payment type. GC Tech competes with payment firms like CyberCash--which processes credit cards and is testing electronic checks--and Digicash, an electronic cash firm.