Fuji Bank of Japan has begun testing debit card purchases over the Internet using the Secure Electronic Transactions protocol developed by MasterCard, Visa, and several technology companies.

The Japanese bank used International Business Machines Corp.'s CommercePoint system, which incorporated the SET standard. Currently in pilot mode, the rollout is expected to proceed this year and next. Its goal is reaching 100,000 Fuji Bank customers in Japan and elsewhere.

The pilot will give cardholders access to "virtual stores" on the Internet, via a Fuji electronic settlement gateway on the World Wide Web.

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