Terisa Systems Inc. said it has been chosen by MasterCard and Visa to provide a working model, or reference implementation, of their Secure Electronic Transactions protocol.

The protocol, known as SET, was adopted earlier this year to conduct credit card transactions safely over the Internet. Terisa's technology will be available later this year through the MasterCard and Visa Web sites to developers of systems that incorporate SET.

Steve Mott, MasterCard International's senior vice president for electronic commerce and new ventures, called Terisa Systems "a natural choice" for the reference implementation.

Terisa chief technical officer Alan Schiffman said the designation "legitimizes our leadership position in Internet security."

The company participated in the development of SET and was the first to support another key security protocol, version 3 of the Secure Sockets Layer, which is closely associated with Netscape Communications Corp., an owner of Terisa.

Terisa said it will incorporate SET into its own Internet security tool kits in the fourth quarter. The company, which was founded in 1995 by the data encryption leader RSA Data Security, Netscape, International Business Machines Corp., and other technology providers, has promised its customers a "time-to-market advantage."

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