[ISN] Visa, Wells Fargo Deliver E-Payment Alternatives

From: cult hero (jerichoat_private)
Date: Sat Jun 05 1999 - 08:09:21 PDT

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    Forwarded From: darek milewski <darekmat_private>
    Visa, Wells Fargo Deliver E-Payment Alternatives
    New Options for handling credit card transactions over the Web are
    emerging as cheaper and simpler alternatives to the dormant SET standard. 
    As merchants continue to call for SET alternatives, two financial services
    giants--credit card company Visa International and online banking leader
    Wells Fargo & Co.--are trying a new approach: issuing digital certificates
    for use in SSL-based sessions. 
    Visa, which co-developed SET with MasterCard International, will now let
    banks issue RSA Data Security X.509 digital certificates to merchants and
    will provide those banks with data collection, authorization, routing and
    settlement services for Internet transactions through its new Visa Payment
    The gateway, to go live this summer, gives merchants using the Visanet
    point-of-sale network access to that same network through Web channels.
    That means there's no legacy-systems integration required by Visa USA's
    6,000 member banks, many of which have characterized the Secure Electronic
    Transactions (SET) protocol as a gamble because of the implementation
    Visa's gateway arrives just one week after Wells Fargo said it will offer
    merchants e-commerce services that combine Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
    encryption with digital certification. Wells Fargo has partnered with
    GTE's CyberTrust business unit to issue digital certificates to merchants. 
    While both Visa and Wells Fargo still support SET, the moves underscore
    the difficulties that SET has faced. 
    Few merchants and banks have installed SET-enabled systems because of
    their cost and complexity. In fact, less than 1 percent of U.S. merchants
    polled by Forrester Research said they are using or plan to use SET on
    their sites. Also, consumers have little incentive to use the e-wallet
    applications that SET requires, analysts said. 
    Today, most Web storefronts protect credit card data using SSL encryption
    but do not validate users' identities with digital certificates. 
    -- Jeffrey Schwartz
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