The bank will use the Identrus standard over the Web for companies using its car leasing business. It will issue certificates on behalf of its business customers, providing them with a unique proof of identity. Trading partners can then exchange certificates during an online transaction.
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Analysts hailed the roll-out as a landmark for the e-business sector, which is eager to bolster confidence in electronic transactions.
Royal Bank of Scotland IT staff have developed public key infrastructure in-house from various suppliers to support the digital certificate.
Andy Hunter, head of online payments for the bank, said, "We are putting loan documentation on the Web server, which authorises the deal and goes straight into the workflow."
Graham Titterington, senior consultant at IT analyst Ovum, said the implementation is a major step forward in online procurement deals. "It is a breakthrough for business-to-business e-commerce. Identrus gives credibility to customers and is unique in the world. I think other banks will start to use Identrus so they can facilitate business-to-business commerce between the customers of their members."