At a time when most companies and their customers are reluctant to support large-scale Internet commerce because of concerns over security, PIPEX is now in the final stages of testing a complete Internet security payment system, including end to end encryption of shoppers’ credit cards and personal details, coupled to online, secure credit card authentication and clearing.
Such measures should calm the fears of potential Internet shoppers concerned about unencrypted credit card numbers being intercepted, and those of potential Internet vendors unable to trade wholly electronically without a suitable system to authenticate customers’ credit card details and process payments. PIPEX will soon announce its cooperation with a number of household names interested in using the system.
"By listening to our customers’ fears about security and actually doing something about them, we have effectively eliminated the few remaining constraints to doing serious business on the Internet" explained David Mooring, marketing consultant at PIPEX.
"Once these facilities become commercially available to customers and potential customers, the growth of Internet commerce and trading will be explosive!"
There are three key elements. First, the PIPEX Worldserver, a dual-processor SPARCServer 20 with 45Gb of storage configured as a single RAID 5 system and connected directly into the PIPEX backbone, which currently has 16Mb/s of external connectivity. This makes the PIPEX Worldserver the largest and best-connected machine of its type in Europe, allowing thousands of Internet users to simultaneously access its contents, including the World Wide Web (WWW) and FTP material within the "Worldserver Business Park".
Second, the Netscape Commerce Server, high performance server software which enables any organisation to conduct secure electronic commerce and communications on the Internet and the WWW. For example financial institutions can collect credit card applications or enable customers to trade stocks online. To ensure data security, the Netscape Commerce Server provides advanced security features such as server authentication, data encryption, data integrity and user authorisation controls. In addition, the software also provides advanced security features using the open Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, which has been published on the Internet and adopted by the major providers of Internet hardware and software products, financial institutions and certification authorities. SSL encrypts the data between the client and the server allowing secure transactions over insecure networks.
Finally, the Netscape Merchant System provides organisations, such as mail order catalogue firms, online mall operators and retailers, with a software solution to market and sell their products on the Internet. It is an ‘industrial strength’ customisable system that allows these types of companies to develop product displays, update product information quickly and simply and handle thousands of transactions from Internet users around the world safely and securely.