COMMERCENET TO Join FSTC on eCheck Initiative

Sara Shapiro (
Mon, 18 Oct 1999 10:23:29 -0400

Final eCheck and CommerceNet. Both attached and in message

Banking Institutions, Government Entities, Technology Vendors and
Electronic Commerce Organizations Worldwide Collaborate to Enable new
universal Internet payment instrument.

For Immediate Release

Contact --

ZOT Group
Sally Khudairi

CUPERTINO, CA, USA -- 18 October, 1999 -- Extending its mission to
shape the future of eCommerce, CommerceNet and FSTC today announced the
transfer of management of the eCheck Initiative from the Financial Services
Technology Consortium [FSTC] to CommerceNet. "We are excited to have the
opportunity to include eCheck in our Global Ecommerce Financial Services
Issues Portfolio. This will provide our members access to an important new
development in eCommerce payment technologies" said Randall Whiting,
President and CEO of CommerceNet. "The eCheck project has exceeded our
original goals and we are pleased to be working with CommerceNet to extend
the technology beyond the banking community", said Adam Backenroth,
President of the FSTC, "We look forward to a productive collaboration with
CommerceNet and its members."

eCheck originated by FSTC as a new payment instrument combining the
security, speed and processing efficiencies of an all-electronic
transaction along with the established legal infrastructure, business
processes and consumer options associated with paper checks. The eCheck
Initiative is a cooperative effort of more than fifteen banks, government
entities, technology vendors and eCommerce organizations worldwide,
including Agorics Incorporated, Bank of America, Certicom, Defense Finance
and Accounting Service, Federal Reserve Financial Services, Fleet Bank,
GTE, IBM, IntraNet, RDM Corporation, SafeNet, Sun Microsystems and the
United States Treasury. "FSTC's eCheck team has proven the technological
and operational viability and will work with CommerceNet members to prove
and extend its commercial viability." said Mark Resch, Executive Vice
President and COO of CommerceNet.

Based on the Financial Services Markup Language [FSML] and digital
signatures, eCheck is designed to minimize start-up expenses, apply
universal industry standards and provide ubiquity for participants. eChecks
are among the most secure payments instrument developed to date, and
utilize state-of-the-art security techniques of authentication, public key
cryptography, digital signatures, certificate authorities, duplicate
detection and encryption. "eCheck plays an important role in the future of
eCommerce, and will be a vital payment instrument in transforming
businesses of all kinds in this emerging space," added Resch. "eCheck meets
real business needs and sets a solid foundation for a true eCommerce
environment by integrating into today's business practices."

eCheck is the sole electronic payment mechanism used by the
United States Treasury for payments over the Internet, and has been in
active use for Treasury payments over the past year. "In addition, eCheck
products are currently under development by several companies", explained
Frank Jaffe, Vice President of the FSTC. "We are looking forward to wider
commercial adoption in the coming months."

eCheck can be seen in action at CommerceNet'99 on 1-3 November 1999 Create an eCheck using a PDA as an electronic
wallet. Writing an eCheck is easy: user settings are customized with simple
drop-down menus and basic forms. Then use the eCheck to "purchase" select
CommerceNet 99 conference merchandise from the CommerceNet store. After
transmitting the eCheck as a secure, digitally signed, encrypted message,
users will see the eCheck receipt and deposit process, as well as receive
their selected items.

For further information about eCheck, please visit

Founded in 1993, the FSTC is a not-for-profit research organization
of banks, financial service firms, industry partners, national
laboratories, universities and government agencies. It sponsors
collaborative research and development on technical projects affecting the
financial services industry. For further information on the FSTC, its
project participants and member organizations, visit the FSTC web site at, or call Debbie O'Dell, FSTC Executive Director at

For more information about FSTC, see http: //

CommerceNet is the largest grouping of electronic commerce
influencers in the world, working to make eCommerce easy, trusted and
ubiquitous. Launched in April 1994 in Silicon Valley, its membership has
grown to more than 500 eCommerce developers and end-users worldwide from
hardware and software companies, financial institutions, telcos, government
agencies, integrators, service providers, net market makers and others.

For more information about CommerceNet, see

Sara Shapiro
Project Manager
ZOT Group