Two software companies active in the U.S. electronic commerce market have announced contract signings with the biggest bank in the world.

To secure payments for Internet merchants, Deutsche Bank of Frankfurt has turned to Trintech Group and its PayWare NetHost system.

And for data security at the corporate level, the bank has licensed TrustBroker Security Solution from Cybersafe Corp. of Issaquah, Wash.

The deals are votes of confidence in the vendors. They also underscore Deutsche Bank's potential to influence the rest of the increasingly globalized and Internet-connected banking industry's approaches to e-commerce and information security. Deutsche Bank bolstered its credentials in these areas through its acquisition this year of New York-based Bankers Trust Corp., an Internet pioneer in its own right and a co-founder with Deutsche and other multinationals of the business-to-business digital certification venture Identrus.

Both Trintech and Cybersafe have been cultivating relationships with financial institutions of international stature.

Trintech, which has headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and San Mateo, Calif., has staked out a strong position in consumer payment processing. PayWare NetHost is designed to serve multiple merchants through hosted sites, as in Deutsche Bank's shop db venture.

The $800 billion-asset bank is parlaying its status as Germany's largest credit card merchant processor to become a commerce service provider, which only a few banks have done. Other technology components of shop db are provided by Trintech strategic allies Intershop Communications and SAP, also of Germany.

Trintech recently completed an initial public stock offering, listing on the Neuer Markt in Frankfurt as well as on Nasdaq.

"In Trintech we found an ideal partner to complement shop db," said Frank Moerler of Deutsche's corporate and real estate Internet team. PayWare NetHost "allows us to offer Internet payment authorizations to merchants anywhere in the world because of Trintech's multicurrency and multiprotocol experience."

The Trintech system can work on a variety of security standards including the MasterCard-Visa Secure Electronic Transaction specification, and it lets Internet merchants outsource their payments processing so that they can concentrate on selling.

With Cybersafe's TrustBroker, Deutsche Bank is streamlining system-access controls using the single-sign-on technique for user authentication. TrustBroker relies on both public-key and secret-key data encryption and supports such mechanisms as passwords, digital certificates, hardware tokens, and smart cards.

Cybersafe chairman and CEO James Cannavino said, "We use an open, scaleable, standards-based architecture to ensure TrustBroker can be easily integrated with the existing technology infrastructure."

Phil Venables, Deutsche Bank's global head of information security, said, "Cybersafe gives us the ability to conduct business using strong authentication while realizing significant cost savings for single-sign-on. It complements our developing investments in public key infrastructure and other enterprise security solutions."

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