Visa Offers Passport to Safe B2B E-Payments

Visa International has announced a suite of secure e-payment solutions for the B2B (business to business) market.

Visa Commerce, a customer driven initiative, was pioneered in the Asia-Pacific region and is part of the credit card company's long-term strategy to provide secure B2B for member banks.

Rajiv Kapoor, general manager and executive vice president marketing and product sales for Visa International Asia-Pacific, said: "Although the initial solutions are B2B based, it will be possible to use the platform for B2C (business to customer) payments at a later date."

"We are targeting B2B because this is where the immediate need is."

As part of the swag of solutions, the Open Account product solution will go live with member banks in the first quarter of 2001. The account is virtual and uses smart cards in the authentication process.

Kapoor said the product is targeted at the open account B2B e-commerce market segment. "It is an online e-payment solution that a buyer can use to directly credit his seller's account internationally. This is a more efficient replacement for demand draft and telegraphic transfer."

Also announced recently was MasterCard's chip-activated digital wallet solution in the US. Plans for release in Australia are yet to be confirmed.

Using Trintech's chip-enabled eIssuer, member financial institutions will be able to offer customers a way to conduct online transactions using both a smart card digital ID and personal identification number. The chip contains a digital ID number that authenticates the cardholder and then launches the digital form-filling wallet.

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