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IBM trials e-payment system in Japan

IBM is to trial a business-to-business (B2B) Internet payment system that complies with Identrus's trust standard, the global standard for B2B e-commerce trust and user authentication.

Identrus is a consortium of 50 major financial institutions from across the world that aims to standardise global e-commerce payment systems.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Industrial Bank of Japan, which have been working with Identrus, will test the electronic payment hardware and software. The system will be used to settle payments between IBM Japan's Fujisawa plant and its suppliers, said IBM spokeswoman Hiromi Ishida.

The project aims to promote Web-based payment systems among financial institutions. The Internet can halve the time it takes to clear payments, helping to reduce transaction costs, Ishida said.

IBM said that digital signatures, smartcards and encryption technology will protect the system.

The trial will begin early next year and IBM hopes to roll out the products to financial institutions in the second quarter of 2002, Ishida said.

It will be the first time that IBM has used the Identrus trust system in an e-payment service, despite having several initiatives in place to support the standard, the spokeswoman added.

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