Trintech Group and GlobeSet Inc., two companies vying for leadership in payment software for electronic commerce, announced the availability of major additions to their product lines last week.

Trintech said it will begin in June to ship PayWare NetHost 1.0, which is designed to put Internet service providers, commerce service providers, on-line malls, and independent sales organizations in the business of supporting on-line payments.

GlobeSet said its ServerPOS 1.0 is ready for general availability. It is described as a high-end merchant processing system for a similar type of clientele.

Trintech started in Ireland in 1986 as a supplier of conventional point of sale payment software, and now bases much of its Internet activity in Campbell, Calif. It has pursued the e-commerce market right alongside three-year-old GlobeSet, which is based in Austin, Tex.

Both have been active in SET systems, those that meet the Secure Electronic Transaction specifications for the Internet, which were promoted by MasterCard and Visa. Both vendors have been ardent supporters of cross- system interoperability, a principle that has also been embraced by such longer-established rivals as International Business Machines Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Verifone subsidiary.

GlobeSet has set itself apart by serving as an original equipment manufacturer. Its software is embedded in the offerings of various service bureaus and other third-party suppliers around the world.

Trintech emphasized the flexibility of PayWare NetHost, which it said includes a range of costs and options that can be adjusted to transaction volumes and other merchant requirements.

Among the needs Trintech is trying to meet are those of Internet service providers, or ISPs, that offer Web storefront hosting services, and those of independent sales organizations, the agents known as ISOs, that want to bring merchant clients on-line.

"Trintech offers what merchants demand-rock-solid security, rapid transaction processing, ease of deployment of merchant payments, robust features, and broad interoperability," said Trintech co-founder and chief executive officer John McGuire.

Analyst Scott Smith, commenting on the Trintech announcement, pointed out that the complexity of Internet commerce is resulting in greater demand for outsourcing support, whether for "payment functions alone or entire commerce operations."

"At the same time, no two ISOs or ISPs are alike," said Mr. Smith, president of Tera Group in McLean, Va.

"NetHost's flexibility and ability to configure to meet this wide range of demands and business models is a key differentiator" for the vendor.

Also addressing complexity, GlobeSet's ServerPOS is emblematic of the trend toward "thin client" approaches that lighten the merchant's burden. The company said that alleviating the need to be proficient in managing an entire point-of-sale system "provides the on-line merchant with the freedom to focus solely on marketing and selling products" instead of becoming expert in payments processing.

On-line merchants have the flexibility to process various forms of payment instructions at chosen levels of security. SET capability is built in, ready for whenever it may gain broader acceptance. GlobeSet said ServerPOS will support smart cards, micropayments, and other such advances if and when they proliferate.

Wes Byrne, GlobeSet's vice president of product development, called the system "future-proof," adding that it "supports the way on-line merchants do business today and greatly reduces the barriers to entry for merchants not already on-line."

SAN JOSE, Calif.-Trintech said its payment technology is being utilized by Conavi, a major savings institution in Colombia, as part of an electronic bill presentment and payment service.

The program is one of the first in the world to involve debit cards in a secure Internet payment service, Trintech said.

The on-line transactions are processed using Trintech's PayWare, NetWallet, and PayGate systems, and they conform to the Secure Electronic Transaction protocol. Techmarketing, a Microsoft Corp. partner in Colombia, was the systems integrator.

Conavi-Corporacion Nacional de Ahorro y Vivenda-has been an automation pioneer, processing 72% of transactions through nonbranch delivery systems, including the Internet. It said on-line payments have reduced the costs of processing bills through its branches by 80%.

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