Verifone Inc. said it entered an agreement with Home Account Network Inc., Charleston, S.C., to provide Internet banking systems that incorporate smart cards for consumer security and authentication.

Home Account Network's software, based on Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java computer language, will be combined with Verifone's Verismart technology.

It will enable home banking, bill paying and presentment, investments, and other on-line services through a variety of devices including network computers, personal digital assistants, and Verifone's smart-card-reading Personal ATM.

Verifone will have global licensing and distribution rights to market Home Account Network's software to financial institutions. The smart card capabilities will be added to the offering early next year.

"The flexible structure of the Verismart system, combined with HAN's consumer banking software, will allow banks to get software updates and service enhancements in the consumer's hands much faster and more cost- effectively than ever before," said Thomas J. Kilcoyne, vice president and general manager of Verifone's consumer systems division.

Home Account Network president and chief executive officer Andrew Barrett said the alliance "lays the foundation for a truly comprehensive Java-based Internet home banking solution that will help financial institutions forge and retain personalized relationships with their customers."

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