First Data Direct Banking, the interactive services unit of First Data Corp., announced a plan for its client banks to obtain a security certification from ICSA, formerly the International Computer Security Association.

First Data Direct Banking put its Internet hosting program through the ICSA TruSecure process less than a year ago. The company said that because its data center is continuously monitored to ensure compliance, the certification can be extended to its NetPrecision customers' Web sites relatively simply and at low cost.

The institutions could then display the TruSecure logo, denoting verification "by a respected, independent agency" and providing a "security blanket" to reassure consumers, said First Data Direct president Randy Kahn.

"Security concerns are still among the most pervasive impediments to the growth of Internet banking," Mr. Kahn said.

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