Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. will use Open Market Inc.'s Transact Internet commerce software for a Japanese electronic commerce pilot, Open Market announced.

NTT expects to begin the trial in the current quarter, linking more than 2,000 cardholders with 20 on-line businesses. On-line credit card settlements are to begin by December, enabling secure purchases from many commercial Web sites and catalogues.

The effort is part of the Japanese Electronic Commerce Network Project, a significant trial given that Japan has an estimated 6.7 million people with Internet access. One recent survey found 35% of Japanese Internet users have shopped on-line, but mostly for U.S. goods because of the lack of Japanese merchants on-line.

Open Market president and chief executive officer Gary Eichhorn said Open Market, whose customers also include AT&T and British Telecom, "has effectively captured the entire worldwide telecommunications market for Internet commerce."

"Open Market is incredibly pleased to gain a customer of NTT's stature," he said.

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