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First Union Partners With IKO in Australia

Interactive Knowledge On-line (IKO) of Sydney, Australia and First Union Corp. are teaming up to allow companies from both the U.S. and Asia-Pacific to become electronic merchants using the First Union Secure Sales application.

First Union launched Secure Sales, an Open Market product, in 1997. The bank also participated with Visa, Open Market, and NOVA Information Systems in the first multi-vendor electronic transaction using Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) protocols.

The companies said the partnership combines First Union's SecureSales and Interactive Knowledge On-Line's expertise in e-commerce consulting, technology, and virtual selling to provide clients assistance in getting their online businesses started. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Secure Sales offers credit card authorization of accounts over the Internet. The customer's order and financial information is not stored on a server to be authorized at a later time, but is validated at the time of sale, providing the customer and the business a digital receipt of the transaction.

"The partnership with First Union allows IKO to provide one-stop, one-shop solutions to companies wishing to conduct business over the Internet," said Aseem Prakash, CEO of Interactive Knowledge On-line.

IKO will provide customers with knowledge of how to setup their online stores, offer help in developing Internet commerce strategies, and deliver online catalog solutions. First Union supplies the transaction capability.