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Financial Companies Join Forces to Boost E-Commerce

Eight financial institutions came together Wednesday in a global effort aimed at removing many of the current barriers hampering the spread of business-to-business electronic commerce.

ABN AMRO, Bank of America, Bankers Trust, Barclays Bank, Chase Manhattan, Citibank, Deutsche Bank and Hypo Vereinsbank are working with CertCo Inc. to form a global company intended to ensure the certainty of a trading partner's identity.

The new entity will establish a global, interoperable network of financial institutions operating as encryption certificate authorities. Members of the network will have to comply with standards set up by the new enterprise.

Much of the success in the e-commerce sector is limited because of security concerns. Many would-be consumers do not have confidence in the Internet to provide adequate security for online transactions. Guy Tallent, vice president of Chase Manhattan, said the new entity's chief function will be to tackle the problem.

"Trust in the identity of a trading partner is a fundamental component of enabling commerce between two parties," said Tallent, who is chairman of the new enterprise's steering committee. "With this announcement, the financial industry is stepping forward to help businesses validate the identity of counterparties so companies can confidently engage in Internet commerce.

"The network created by the global trust enterprise will provide businesses globally with a single electronic identity for use with both their financial institutions and any other participating corporate trading partners," he added.

No name has been announced for the enterprise.



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