Open Market Inc. announced an agreement to make Verifone Inc.'s vPOS electronic payment software available with the Transact electronic commerce system.

Open Market salespeople also will offer the virtual point of sale software, and the integrated package will be available on Unix servers from Verifone's parent, Hewlett-Packard Co.

Open Market and Verifone said that given their extensive customer lists, they can jointly offer on-line merchants and their financial institutions more flexibility in moving on to the Internet without changing their existing business relationships.

Also, vPOS for the first time gives Open Market's Transact a direct compatibility with SET, the Secure Electronic Transactions protocol for credit card payments.

"Our customers will be able to use Verifone's merchant software to route transactions to financial institutions around the world, safely and securely," said Open Market president and chief executive officer Gary Eichhorn.

"Verifone has a history of bringing merchants and financial institutions trusted payment solutions," said George Hoyem, vice president and general manager of the Santa Clara, Calif., company's Internet commerce division. The joint effort "is an important step in bringing secure and easy-to-use payment solutions to every merchant on the Internet."

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