ANZ Introduces PKI to Facilitate E-commerce

Australia's first large-scale application of PKI in the banking sector was announced this week by ANZ (Australian and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd) in a multimillion dollar agreement with Baltimore Technologies.

The agreement includes the implementation of Baltimore's PKI technology allowing ANZ Bank's online business customers worldwide to use digital certificates for more secure transactions.

This is in addition to Baltimore providing hosting facilities and consulting services to support two new e-security systems.

A Baltimore spokesman was unwilling to disclose the cost of the agreement but said ANZ is leading the way in large-scale PKI applications.

"The only other bank to pilot the use of PKI was National Australia two years ago. This is the first large-scale application in Australia in the banking sector and is geared towards corporate business partners undertaking e-commerce on a global scale," the spokesman said.

Digital certificates are the global standard for online transactions and will facilitate ANZ's transactions with other tier-one banks worldwide such as Citibank and Chase Manhattan.

ANZ is using Baltimore's UniCERT certificate management system which issues unique digital certificates to business customers so they can interact securely with the bank and other trading partners.

Baltimore Asia Pacific managing director John Palfreyman said the system will be operational this quarter and is aimed at large organisations.

"The international banking and finance market for secure online transactions is growing rapidly and the system can be scaled to support millions of transactions daily on a national or international basis," he said.

In a formal statement ANZ head of business e-commerce, Mike Irvine said digital certificates will enable the bank's business customers to more easily trust and identify trading partners around the world.

"Potentially, this facilitates companies opening new markets and carrying out numerous B2B commerce activities with lower transaction costs and they are not just restricted to financial services," Irvine said.

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