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GTE, HP Help JETCO Become HK's First Internet CA

Local banking ATM consortium Joint Electronic Teller Services Ltd. (JETCO), has become the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's (SAR) first Internet Certification Authority.

Following the completion of a major systems integration project led by Hewlett-Packard, JETCO will be able to provide its 49 member banks with digital certificates for Internet-based transactions.

At the same time, JETCO will offer member banks a "virtual ATM" service that duplicates the look-and-feel of the banks' physical ATMs on their customers' PCs enabling them to offer a customized home banking service without large-scale investment in new hardware or software.

"Hong Kong is a world-renowned financial center, and this is another major milestone in its history," said Chung Che-shum, chairman of JETCO. "By becoming a CA, we are able to help virtually all of the SAR's retail banks to enter the online age in one fell swoop."

Due for completion in June 1999, HP in partnership with CyberTrust, is providing the solutions that will enable JETCO to give its member banks digital certification for Internet-based transactions.

"Internet banking will be adopted and used by customers comfortably with the add-on CA feature," said Chung."As a result, we lead to progress towards the government's well-publicized e-commerce initiatives and will help the SAR in its drive to be the undisputed IT hub of Asia."

Internet Certification Authorities like JETCO are trusted third parties that certify the identities of those involved in electronic transactions. A CA issues digital certificates to businesses and consumers so that they can securely identify themselves when conducting electronic transactions.

The HP/GTE solution is hosted on more than 12 HP 9000 UNIX servers. It is based on certificate management software from GTE's CyberTrust, together with customized software developed by HP to support a virtual ATM service over the Internet including the use of digital certificates.

"CyberTrust and HP is a strong partnership which continues to enable global organizations to enhance their product and service offerings through secure Internet-based communications and transactions," said Ron Langill, vice president of global channels and strategic alliances at GTE. "JETCO is showing strong market innovation in the financial marketplace by enabling low-cost business growth potential."

"Although we issued a formal tender to several vendors, we found the HP/GTE CyberTrust combination extremely compelling," said John Tsang, deputy general manager at JETCO. "Both companies have first-class reputations in the Internet technology field."

"With HP's solid track record as a supplier of powerful, high quality products and services and GTE's market-leading CyberTrust software, the choice was not difficult," added Tsang.

"JETCO is playing a pivotal role within Hong Kong's Internet banking community," said Jack Lee, managing director at Hewlett-Packard Hong Kong. "By becoming a Certification Authority, JETCO is recognizing the importance of the Internet for its member community and is raising the bar in the security stakes."

HP will provide JETCO with mission-critical Web security software, the HP Praesidium VirtualVault - a Web transaction server based on HP B-level Trusted Operating System (OS) that is designed to provide military level security for mission-critical business applications.