Cybercash Inc. and First USA Paymentech Inc. have joined with iCat Corp. to help Internet merchants post on-line catalogues and accept secure payments from consumers.
Along with the iCat Electronic Commerce Suite catalogue software, merchants can use Cybercash's CashRegister. Paymentech does the credit card processing.
"We are trying to ease the job of integrating the technology," said Doug F. Schulze, director of business development at Seattle-based iCat, which takes its name from the interactive CD-ROM catalogues that the company began creating in 1993.
"We have combined efforts to create a one-stop shop," said Mr. Schulze, adding that both Cybercash and Paymentech were selected for their experience in enabling Internet-based commerce.
"Paymentech has hundreds of merchants processing Internet sales, so we know the potential that exists for those yet to take advantage of electronic commerce," said John E. Shirey, senior director of electronic commerce at the First USA unit, which has been controlled by Banc One Corp. since its June acquisition of First USA.
Many of the processor's mail-order and catalogue customers have progressed naturally onto the Internet, a Paymentech official said. They want to turn existing electronic brochures into Web sites permitting credit card transactions.
More than 500 companies use iCat, including Sports Illustrated, Time- Warner, Guess Jeans, Boeing, Hewlett-Packard, Apple Computer, and Ziff- Davis, said Mr. Schulze.
Charging $3,495 for the Windows NT version of its shrink-wrap software and $9,995 for a more customizable Unix-based version, iCat also resells its Electronic Commerce Suite through Web site developers and other Internet businesses.
Still, up to 70% of commerce-enabled Web sites are homegrown, patched together with a variety of Internet-based formats and commands. But iCat expects that the market for ready-made electronic commerce software will grow.
"Many merchants who want to do business on the Internet are confused by the complexity of secure Web payment systems and are searching for an Internet-savvy processor who really understands electronic commerce," said iCat president and chief executive officer Craig Danuloff.