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First Announces Secure Payment Processing For WAP
Posted: 26-Apr-2000 [Source: Business Wire]

[A WTLS layer supports secure credit card payment via WAP enabled phones according to First Ecom.]

Hong Kong -- "First (NASD OTC BB: FECC, BSX: FECC BH), a global provider of electronic payment processing systems, today announced the addition of Wireless Transport Layer Security (WTLS) protocol to its range of payment processing solutions. The addition of this new protocol means that First Ecom-enabled merchants can support credit card transactions from Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) enabled devices such as mobile phones.

"WTLS is the wireless equivalent to the widely used Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol found between browsers and servers. WTLS provides the key security elements of confidentiality, integrity and authentication. This technology creates new business opportunities for merchants by providing consumers a means to transact e-commerce securely using WAP enabled devices.

"The use of WAP technology empowers users of wireless devices to easily and directly access live interactive information services and applications such as email, weather and traffic alerts, news, sports and information services and electronic commerce. This new technology is now extended to merchants, who can create web pages that detect requests coming from a WAP browser handset and respond by converting standard Hyper-Text Markup Language (HTML) pages to Wireless Markup Language (WML) pages, which can be read by the consumer. Numerous WAP applications are currently available, including solutions from various First partners such as Sybase, Intershop Communications and Jade Pacific Corporation.

"According to Gartner Group, an independent high-technology research company, WAP is poised for explosive growth in the Asia Pacific region. ``Outside of Northern Europe, Asia will see the highest rate of adoption and penetration of mobile Internet services,'' said Joe Sweeney, research director with Gartner Group. ``In particular, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Australia will be vanguard markets. WAP will be used as an extension to existing Internet services, running in parallel with web-based e-commerce - the result will be exponential growth to a willing market.''

``First Ecom is pleased to offer a new service for banks to meet the demand of their merchant clients who wish to implement secure WAP-based e-commerce services for mobile consumers,'' said Gregory Pek, president and CEO of First ``This opens up a new market opportunity where e-commerce on WAP enabled devices is predicted to outpace traditional Internet usage, especially in Asia where cellular telephone usage far exceeds traditional PC-based Internet usage. This introduction also further illustrates First Ecom's ability to quickly adapt and implement leading edge technologies.''

"The First gateway provides a secure mechanism for processing WAP based transactions. To assist in the adoption of this technology, First can also provide merchants with WML sample pages for their web sites and application examples.


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