Merchant banks can now handle Internet commerce for even the smallest businesses, which up until now could not support a robust transactional Web site. Evolv Adaptive Technology has designed an Internet commerce package that

Enables small retailers to take secure credit transactions over the Internet.

Called Skipjack IC, the software is basically an off-the-shelf package that can be customized to conform to the design of a merchant's Web site. Transaction information is secured at the site: When customers send their credit card information to the merchant, Skipjack IC encrypts it on the merchant's system and sends the information to the bank where it's decoded, says Evolv CEO Brad Hoeweler.

Retailing for $1,495, Skipjack IC includes on-line documentation, a sample Web site, 800 number, a test credit card account and e-mail support. "You can get the system up and running within a few hours," says Hoeweler- so long as the merchant has a Microsoft Windows NT Server version 4.0 with Service Pack 3, Internet Information Server 3.0, Active Server Pages, modem and analog phone line.

Evolv recently formed its first alliance with credit card processor Midwest Payment Systems (MPS), a subsidiary of Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati which serves more than 17,000 clients representing more than $22 billion in credit card volume. MPS will use the Skipjack IC software and its security features as a sales tool to attract retailers, such as walk-in merchants and mail order houses that want to extend their sales to the Internet. MPS will sell the software to the retailers who will then rely on MPS to facilitate their credit card transactions.

Though this is a great opportunity for retailers, sources say they must understand that security is paramount on the Web, a channel that is immature and relatively untried. They must be religious in their system implementations.

-peterson tfn.com

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