Cybersource Corp. has released the latest version of its fraud detection software with improvements contributed by Visa U.S.A.

Version 4.0 of the Cybersource Internet Fraud Screen hit the market two months after the San Jose, Calif., on-line commerce company and Visa said they would join forces to bolster the system.

Cybersource said the 4.0 package, "enhanced by Visa," can speed order processing and risk calculations by merchants.

Its technology grew in the early days of Internet commerce out of the need for a predecessor company, Software.net, to verify the validity of credit card payments for digital goods. It grew in sophistication to the point where on-line transactions are subjected to 150-plus tests.

Merchants use the resulting risk score -- the higher it is, the greater the risk -- in deciding whether to accept and fulfill an order. As "rearchitected," the system is said to be faster and more accurate and cost-effective. Data base changes accelerate response time to merchants by up to 40%, which means most risk scores are delivered within a second, Cybersource said.

Robert Shapiro, legal affairs manager of Casio Corp., said that with the enhancements "Casio will be able to convert even more orders to sales in real time and reduce unnecessary customer-service intervention and costs."

Augmenting the scoring process are "risk profile codes" that offer merchants more insights about high scores. These codes consist of three reply fields: local time, which is the predictive attribute of when an order was placed; host severity, the risk associated with a buyer's e-mail domain; and factors, or the test categories such as suspect addresses in which the transaction did not pass muster.

"Cybersource pioneered Internet fraud screening as a merchant in 1996," said chairman and chief executive officer William McKiernan. "We know what it takes to manage risk effectively and efficiently. We're now helping merchants move beyond mere fraud protection to focus instead on maximizing sales conversion with minimum risk and minimum human intervention."

Cybersource, which made its initial public stock offering this year, has taken advantage of its own speed to market by signing up 800 Internet merchant customers in 26 countries. Besides risk management, the company sells payment, tax-calculation, distribution control, and fulfillment services in a comprehensive Internet Commerce Suite.

The customer list includes such prominent Internet names as Amazon.com, Buy.com, Compaq Computer Corp., Egghead.com, Nike.com, and Shopping.com.

Cybersource last month formed an alliance with CSPSource.com to help provide e-commerce support to entrepreneurs. The latter offers an Internet "point of entry" for independent Internet service providers -- ISPs -- and small merchants.

"Our partnership with Cybersource is a demonstration of our strategic direction," said Tom Mullin, CEO of CSPSource.com, which also said it would work with ClearCommerce Corp. and OpenShop Internet Software Inc. to "empower the Internet entrepreneur."

Working with CSPSource.com "capitalizes on an explosive new market and makes Cybersource part of the industry's first total e-commerce solution for independent ISPs and small merchants," Mr. McKiernan said.

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