SAN FRANCISCO - Two bank-owned organizations, Swift and Identrus, announced that they have joined forces to support the growth of secure electronic commerce.

The interbank messaging capabilities of Swift, formally the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, will be combined with Identrus' digital signature technology, the two organizations announced at Swift's Sibos conference last week. Identrus and Swift will pilot the service in the fourth quarter and expect it to go live next year.

Swift, which handles about $5 trillion in payment messages a day, will act as a storehouse of messages among buyers, sellers, and their banks. Identrus will help corporate customers quickly verify that they are making a transaction with a certified party, said Guy Tallent, Identrus' president and chief executive officer.

"Providing a standard should create acceleration in the business-to-business marketplace," Mr. Tallent said.

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