Underwriters Laboratories, a well-known independent product safety certification organization in Northbrook, Ill., signaled its desire to enter growing payment areas such as mobile transactions with an agreement to acquire the Australian-based payment card security assessment company Witham Laboratories Ltd.

Witham is the only laboratory in the Asia-Pacific region that the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council has accredited to evaluate PIN-entry devices for compliance with PCI data security requirements, the companies said. "By adding their back-office capabilities to our smart card and terminal-evaluation offerings, we are developing a seamless, end-to-end [service] for retailers, banks, gateways and consumers," Sajeev Jesuda, the president of UL verification services, said in a press release Wednesday.

"By adding their back-office capabilities to our smart card and terminal-evaluation offerings, we are developing a seamless, end-to-end [service] for retailers, banks, gateways and consumers," Sajeev Jesuda, president of UL verification services, said in the release.

UL in 2010 purchased UK-based RFI Global Services Ltd., which provides security-evaluation services for smart card, PIN devices and point-of-sale terminals.