In an alliance that brings together two of the best-known quantities in the payments and transaction security businesses, First Data Corp.'s merchant processing subsidiary will begin selling online merchants digital certificates from Entrust Technologies Inc.

First Data says digital certificates, the passports of the online world, are a natural fit in the payment giant's efforts to offer merchants a soup-to-nuts package for enabling Internet commerce. In the last 18 months First Data Merchant Services of Omaha has built up its merchant offerings from core payment processing services to include Web design and hosting, Internet payment gateway services, and other e-commerce offerings.

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