Verifone Inc. has licensed the Certicom Elliptic Curve Engine, known as CE2, for its smart card downloading system, Certicom Corp. announced.

Verifone will use Certicom software and other components in its Verismart remote transaction architecture, which includes the hand-held smart card reader known as Personal ATM. That device can link through any phone line to a bank or retailer for digital commerce, including electronic money transfers or storage of cash on a chip card.

Certicom, a Canadian company with an office in San Mateo, champions elliptic curve cryptography, a data security technology that is said to be well suited to the limited computing capacity on smart card chips.

"We believe that Verifone will be a driving force in enabling smart card applications for consumers," said Certicom president and chief executive officer Philip Deck. "The Verismart system, combined with the strength and efficiency of CE2, will accelerate the deployment of low-cost smart card applications."

Thomas J. Kilcoyne, vice president and general manager of Verifone's consumer systems division, said CE2's "full-strength public key authentication and encryption" can address the critical need for security "in successfully deploying consumer smart card technologies on a widespread, global scale."

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