WASHINGTON -The American Bankers Association has issued rules governing the use of digital certificates issued by financial institutions.

The group said the rules are designed to create an infrastructure to support the universal acceptance of TrustID certificates, which are issued under the ABA's authority. Financial institutions certified by the ABA may issue their own certificates or outsource the process to Digital Signature Trust, a subsidiary of Zions First National Bank and the only third party to have been certified so far by the ABA.

The new policy sets the rules for all parties involved in issuing or receiving the certificates, including how they will work and be managed. The ABA said that by setting the standards, it hopes to create methodologies for digital signatures that are as widely accepted as those in the credit card world.

"These rules create a common policy, allowing the financial services industry to fulfill its traditional role as a commerce enabler," said Donald G. Ogilvie, executive vice president of the association.

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