The Discover card organization is supporting the bank credit card associations' secure electronic transactions protocol.

MasterCard and Visa published the protocol for Internet payments, known as SET, in February, and it is expected to be incorporated in on-line payment systems later this year.

Novus Services Inc., the operating unit responsible for Discover and related card brands within Dean Witter, Discover & Co., issued its formal endorsement March 25. A month earlier, American Express Co. indicated its intention to use the protocol, in conjunction with Microsoft software.

"It is in the best interest of the industry to work together in developing a single payment security standard to protect our cardmembers and merchants," said William R. Simmons, executive vice president of Novus.

"It is not an issue of competition, and we are pleased to be joining with the other credit card companies to develop one global standard that will establish security over the Internet."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.