Kiosk Newsbit

HP and NETS collaborate to spearhead Internet commerce in Asia Pacific
(M2 Presswire; 05/12/98)

M2 PRESSWIRE-12 May 1998-HEWLETT-PACKARD: HP and NETS collaborate to 
 spearhead Internet commerce in Asia Pacific (C)1994-98 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

 -- Companies sign MOU for SETFIRST to lower operating costs of Internet 
 processing services for banks and financial institutions

    In line with the government's efforts to establish Singapore as a global 
 electronic-commerce hub, Hewlett-Packard Singapore and Network for Electronic 
 Transfers Singapore Pte Ltd. (NETS) today announced plans to market a secure 
 credit-card payment and settlement gateway for the Internet. This e-commerce 
 gateway infrastructure, called SETFIRST, is slated to be marketed to financial 
 institutions throughout Asia Pacific. This service -- the first such initiative 
 in the region -- is designed to save financial institutions time, money and 
 staffing resources, and to provide them with a seamless, secure processing 

    SETFIRST helps financial institutions avoid the up-front capital investment 
 and ongoing maintenance and staffing costs associated with establishing an 
 Internet payment gateway. In addition, it helps greatly reduce time to market. 
 NETS has teamed with HP and its wholly owned subsidiary VeriFone because of the 
 scalability, security and ease of use that the HP and VeriFone solution 
 provides for accepting and processing Internet payment transactions. VeriFone's 
 vGATE Internet Gateway software offers full functionality for merchant payment 
 processing while utilizing the SET protocol.

    How SETFIRST Works

    With SETFIRST, a MasterCard or VISA cardholder anywhere in the world can 
 purchase goods from a virtual merchant based anywhere in Asia Pacific. For 
 example, after receiving an easily downloaded digital certificate from VeriSign 
 or GTE and storing it in the vWALLET, a customer can shop at an Internet 
 storefront built on a Microsoft, Netscape or Oracle Internet commerce server. 
 To make a purchase, the customer clicks the "pay" button, which activates the 
 vWALLET. After choosing a credit card, the transaction is signed and encrypted 
 with the digital signature and sent as an order to the merchant through the 
 VeriFone vPOS. The vPOS then sends the transaction to the vGATE at NETS, which 
 routes it through the MasterCard or VISA network to the appropriate bank for 
 payment authorisation.

    SETFIRST has undergone extensive technical trials involving both credit-card 
 companies as well as merchants in "live" commercial transactions over the 
 Internet. Last June, Singapore's "big four" banks -- the DBS, Overseas-Chinese 
 Banking Corporation Bank Group, Overseas Union Bank and United Overseas Bank -- 
 embarked on a pilot trial of the electronic-commerce payment gateway with 
 deployment of full, end-to-end SET-compliant software and transaction 

    "With SETFIRST, banks that have been impacted by the recent economic turmoil 
 can extend secure Internet payment-processing services to their customers 
 almost immediately, without the time and expense required to set up their own 
 infrastructure," said Mr. Bob Robertson, general manager, Enterprise Business 
 Computer Organization, Hewlett-Packard Asia-Australasia. "A typical e-commerce 
 payment gateway would cost about US$1 million to set up. It makes a lot of 
 economic sense to supportSETFIRST because it promotes a level technology 
 playing field, allowing banks to focus more on their customers' needs."

    "NETS has established itself as a leading electronic cashless-payment 
 service provider," said Mr. Wee Tew Lim, chief executive officer, NETS. "Our 
 move into providing services such as SETFIRST is a natural extension of our 
 position as a key player in Singapore's move to a cashless society. Today's 
 announcement complements our current service offerings. At the same time, it 
 reinforces and supports Singapore's move to become the e-commerce hub in the 
 region, and it provides us with the platform to regionalise NETS' services and 

    SETFIRST is ideal for credit-card acquiring banks as well as for issuing 
 banks, as both MasterCard and VISA transactions are recognised and accepted 
 with authentication done through the existing MasterCard and VISA networks. 
 SETFIRST comes with a completely integrated solution that includes the complete 
 configuration of existing gateways at acquiring banks, and vPOS and vWALLET 
 solutions from VeriFone.

    About NETS

    NETS was founded in 1985 by five major banks -- DBS Bank, OCBC Bank Group, 
 Overseas Union Bank, POSBank and United Overseas Bank to operate and manage an 
 on-line debit payment service. Tat Lee Bank and Keppel Bank joined as NETS 
 shareholder banks in 1990 and 1992 respectively. NETS offers different mode of 
 payments like NETS EFTPOS, ATMNETS, TransitLink self-service farecard machines, 
 NETS FEDI (Financial Electronic Data Interchange), NETS Kiosk, CashCard and 
 NETS' Electronic Commerce Payment Gateway

    Information about NETS can be found on the World Wide Web at

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