Card fraud prevention service Card Clear has set up the UK?s first digital certificate service aimed at helping Internet users to identify one another during electronic transactions.
According to a recent report by management consultancy KPMG, security is considered the biggest barrier to the proliferation of electronic commerce on the Net, which is why Brian Raven, chief executive at Card Clear, reckons the market for digital certificates is potentially enormous.
?SET (the newly announced Visa/Mastercard worldwide payment standard, insists upon the use of digital certificates,? he said. ?The number of credit card Internet transactions is rising at 450 per cent per annum. By the year 2005 it has been estimated that 50 per cent of all credit card transactions will take place on the Internet.?
According to Raven, Card Clear is recognised by the banking industry as a 'trusted third party' (TTP) and is therefore positioned to become a certifying authority. The digital certificates will be issued to merchants, retailers and individuals at a cost of around #10 for a consumer certificate that lasts for a year. ?Consumers will also have to pay an initial #10 fee to get their application notarised by a solicitor,? said Raven.
The service, which is similiar to two or three that are already on offer in the US, will be launched at the beginning of next year. It will be offered through a new subsidiary of Card Clear called Inter Clear. JCP Computer Services, experts in Internet security and electronic commerce, will partner with Interclear to provide the system infrastructure.
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