Magazine article American Banker

Serving Up Merchant Digital Certificates @sh#Widely Compatible Products Launched by Entrust, Equifax

Magazine article American Banker

Serving Up Merchant Digital Certificates @sh#Widely Compatible Products Launched by Entrust, Equifax

Article excerpt

On successive days this week, two prominent technology vendors set out to capture what has quickly come to be seen as one of the biggest prizes in electronic commerce security.

Anticipating an explosion in on-line retailing and other transactions requiring security assurances, Entrust Technologies Inc. and Equifax Secure Inc. both announced digital certificate programs for Web server computers.

The companies have a technology foundation in common: Reaching for the cross-system interoperability that will simplify on-line shopping experiences, both licensed the underlying root certificate authority from Thawte Certification that is compatible with the vast majority of Internetconnected computers and browsers.

Entrust formally unveiled its plans Wednesday for Entrust.net, a new company and Web site. Server certificates, the first offering, are available now.

John Ryan, president and chief executive officer of Plano, Tex.-based Entrust, said a second Entrust.net phase will follow in the third quarter, to include insurance protection, additional cryptography, support for electronic mail, and an expanded partner program.

He said demand "for services to enable secure Internet transactions and relationships is rapidly growing," but he called the market "inadequately serviced."

Mr. Ryan stressed the Entrust products' ability to weather the millennium date change, saying that 25% of the estimated 160 million Web browsers worldwide use root keys that will automatically expire in 1999 and potentially put a damper on electronic commerce.

Entrust hopes to differentiate itself from competitors in service quality throughout the certificate life cycle, Mr. Ryan said, in competitive value, and in the completeness of its service portfolio. He said the price points-$299 for a one-year server certificate and $499 for two years-are 10% to 15% below the competition. …

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