Digital certificates could eliminate a deluge of documents for Massachusetts-based financial institutions and increase competition across the state with the start of a pilot that will securely post interest rate updates on the Internet.

Massachusetts's Division of Banks is using GTE CyberTrust technology in a pilot project, one of the first to link the public and private sectors in secure electronic communications over the Internet. The one-year pilot will include as many as 200 financial institutions and complements a system where lenders fax rate information to the Division of Banks every week. Those numbers are compiled and forwarded to area newspapers. Consumers will be able to electronically access interest rate data at the state's Web site, which will be updated weekly.

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