VeriSign invests in online payment firm

Internet infrastructure developer VeriSign Inc. inked a deal Thursday with electronic-payment developer eONE Global LP to co-market online payment systems for business-to-business marketplaces and to develop new technologies that enable corporate customers to buy and sell online.

VeriSign also said in a news release that it will invest US$20 million into eONE and its operating company SurePay LP, and equip its new partner with security software products.

Mountain View, California-based VeriSign already offers a broad range of services for online businesses, including domain name registry, security and user authentication systems for the Internet. With this agreement, VeriSign will add eONE's secure payment technology to its portfolio and gain access to eONE's customers, VeriSign said. The largest of those customers is First Data Corp., a majority investor and distribution partner for eONE.

First Data, the number-three processor of credit cards in the U.S., also has access to 2.5 million merchants. Some 1,400 card issuers subscribe to its point-of-sale payment services and its emerging Internet payment technology, opening a ripe customer base for VeriSign.

VeriSign has been moving swiftly into the arena of online payments. The company is courting business-to-business marketplaces, financial services institutions and e-commerce companies, offering its range of products. Last month, VeriSign secured a deal with Netegrity Inc. to jointly host and manage transaction services for online exchanges. SurePay, which markets and sells payment and security products to business-to-business clients and e-commerce Web sites, also has the technology to enable wireless payments, or mobile commerce. The company will begin packaging VeriSign's flagship payment service, PayFlow, with its own products.

SurePay also plans to integrate its system with similar electronic transactions services from VeriSign, including VirtualApp, an online merchant account application used by First Data.

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