HSBC bolsters e-commerce offering

The high street bank also has thousands of online merchant customers - and its deal with ClearCommerce aims to make their transactions more secure

Banking giant HSBC has signed up US-based software outfit ClearCommerce to provide online payment, risk management and authentication technology for its business banking portal, which is used by e-commerce merchants throughout the world.

The ClearCommerce software will provide HSBC with fraud prevention and payment processing capabilities for its tens of thousands of online merchant customers.

The software supports a variety of payment types and more than 40 currencies, as well as interfaces with European anti-fraud initiatives from Visa (3DSecure) and MasterCard (UCAF).

HSBC will initially roll out the technology in the UK, with more countries coming on-stream throughout the year.

Alan Scutt, European VP of ClearCommerce, told silicon.com: "Three to four years ago, this market was dominated by independent payment service providers (PSPs), such as WorldPay. Why weren't the banks in this market? Over the last two years or so many of them have woken up to the potential and realised they should be doing it. HSBC began looking for a solution around 18 months ago and settled on us."

Scutt claimed that as consumers spend more money online, businesses are becoming more aware of fraud. "Detection of and protection against fraud is the key thing," he said.

IDC predicts significant growth in online business to consumer (B2C) transaction volume in the near future. Estimates of the B2C market in 2004 range from $102bn to $228bn in the US, while the size of the European B2C marketed is projected to be in the $80bn range.

ClearCommerce software is used by more than 50,000 businesses worldwide, including Apple Computer, B&Q, Boots, Barclaycard Merchant Services, ebookers, Napster, PETsMART and Sony Online.


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