Xcert International Inc., a leading provider of data encryption infrastructures for e-commerce security, announced the addition of PenOp Inc. to its OpenXchange Partner Program.

PenOp, a New York company that makes software for transmitting handwritten signatures electronically, joins a growing list of technology vendors that have made cooperation and interoperability commitments relating to Xcert's Sentry CA digital certificate system, which is based on public key infrastructure, or PKI, techniques.

Xcert customers that may be generating digital signatures as opposed to handwritten ones for on-line transactions can also take advantage of PenOp's biometric verification features.

"PenOp will provide the ceremonial technology necessary for the successful deployment of large-scale PKI deployments," said Patrick Richard, Xcert's chief technology officer. "Working with PenOp, we provide a comprehensive and secure digital signature solution essential for paperless processes where you seal a contract, open a new account, or sign a receipt without paper."

PenOp is forecasting that its technology will apply signatures to as many as 40 million forms this year, up from 9.7 million in 1998.

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