Shanghai BookMall, a pioneering electronic commerce business in China, has become the first in that country to offer payment security under the Secure Electronic Transaction protocol, according to Visa International's Asia-Pacific organization.

The book and music seller collaborated on the SET project with Visa, Bank of China's Shanghai branch, and Bank of China Credit Card International Ltd.

SET has proliferated more quickly overseas than in the United States, where the first wave of on-line retailers and consumers was satisfied with the less comprehensive SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, method of data encryption and message authentication.

Also in China, Visa announced that Minsheng Bank had introduced the internationally accepted debit card Visa Electron. Bank president Cai Lulun said he expects to issue more than a million Electron cards within two years.

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