RSA Data Security Inc., a leading developer of encryption systems, has embraced the new technical standard designed to secure bank card transactions over the Internet.

Visa International and MasterCard International recently agreed to the protocol, called Secure Electronic Transactions, as their standard for enabling consumers and merchants to do business on-line.

Given that RSA's technology is at the heart of the standard, it's no surprise that the Redwood City, Calif., company will incorporate it into its products.

But the move did provide reinforcement for the standard, which is expected to define how credit card transactions will be authenticated in on-line commerce.

David Melancon, a spokesman for Visa, called RSA's offerings "the start of what is going to be a real avalanche of SET products."

Since the protocol was announced in February, Mr. Melancon said, Visa has been deluged by inquiries from merchants who want to do business on the Internet's World Wide Web.

"All these people have had their models for products built and waiting, and they've been waiting on the sidelines for us to do this," Mr. Melancon said.

American Express Co. recently announced that it would also comply with Secure Electronic Transactions, using software from Microsoft Corp., which participated with Visa, MasterCard, and several other companies in the protocol's development.

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