A leading French bank, Paribas Banking Group, has taken the plunge into Internet commerce and is reporting that the water's just fine.

Kleline, a subsidiary of Paribas' credit card company, Compagnie Bancaire, opened a "virtual mall" on the Internet on Sept. 25 with 105 merchants. By mid-November, Kleline said, 78,000 customers had used the system.

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