Bucking the trend by European companies who prefer to talk about, rather than seize on ecommerce opportunities, one UK bank has put its money where its mouth is.
NatWest Bank has teamed up with Inter Trust Technology, a US company specialising in digital information security, in a strategic alliance designed to boost confidence in, and take-up of, cyber commerce.
The bank is combining its expertise in payment services with Inter Trust's commerce and information security expertise to create a cyber-market for companies that is secure.
The value of goods traded on the Net is predicted to balloon from $8 billion (#4.9 billion) in 1997 to $327 billion (#200 billion) in 2002 in the US alone, according to Forrester Research. But many organizations fear that the Internet is a haven for cyber criminals and is mistrusted by consumers.
NatWest claims that by providing companies with a secure container or 'Digibox', they can safely post information on the Net, protect their copyright and set conditions for accessing their information. For example, music publishers can put songs on the Net with read-only status, to protect against theft, or allow songs to distributed across networks.
Shoppers will use the 'electronic purse' system of payment and have access to flexible payment methods including dual currency options and purchases on credit. Trials of the service will begin this autumn with a global launch expected next year.
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