At a glance
What the BuyIT experts say
The case study provides a useful account of a major organisation's best practice methods in managing an important project, from due diligence to avoiding the big-bang approach. It also gives a fascinating insight into the process by which security and authentication for e-enabled transactions is being delivered - undoubtedly an essential ingredient for e-commerce to succeed and therefore a topic of interest to all of us.
Royal Bank of Scotland understood that the requirement was not just to deal with the lack of confidence at the business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce end of the trading cycle, but to tackle the need for authentication at every stage in the supply chain, which means interoperable public key infrastructure (PKI) standards for all B2B processes and communication right up to payment. Without this breadth of vision, PKI would remain a niche application.
Royal Bank of Scotland's initiative with Identrus highlights how pervasive a concern e-business is in today's market. It is clear that there are significant corporate fears about using the Internet for B2B commerce. However, RBS researched and invested in technology that will assure that its Internet business transactions are private, authenticated and fully accessible, and remain safe from fraud.
While B2B commerce is an important issue, the Identrus programme will also enable RBS to help businesses manage their whole supply chain process. In the past, financial institutions have identified trading partners, offered signature guarantees and acted as payments intermediaries. Today, they provide purchasing cards, payroll services, letters of credit, and other products and services that require authorisation, identification and certification of a corporation's identity. RBS has capitalised on its strengths to enable its business customers to become trusted third parties for e-commerce transactions, gain real-time access to information and ultimately boost the management of their working capital.
Nothing strikes more fear into businesses committing transactions online than the insecurity of the Internet. It is excellent news that Royal Bank of Scotland has implemented its trust initiative with Identrus.
One of the key issues for financial institutions carrying out transactions electronically, whether it be purchasing cards, payroll services or financial agreements between two parties, has always been trust and authentication. There are, as RBS recognised, few PKI suppliers which provide such authentication tools. It is important that these tools meet the standards laid down in the Identrus framework.
Identrus has provided the standardisation and compliance across PKIs that gives trading partners the confidence and trust to trade electronically. What is key is the need for interoperability so there are no restrictions on customers using their own configurations. We applaud RBS for making these initial steps to ensure that trust and authentication is possible today between trading communities.