January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

A Nice, Safe ATM/Debit Card Deal

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Star Systems Inc., Maitland, Fla., says it will join NYCE Corp., Woodcliff Lake, N.J., in offering SafeDebit to 3,400 STAR member financial institutions, representing 80 million ATM/debit cardholders. The SafeDebit payment solution will allow consumers to use their ATM/debit card to make secure, real-time Internet purchases. Scheduled to launch in second-quarter 2000, SafeDebit uses the infrastructure of regional ATM networks, including NYCE and STAR. SafeDebit is modeled on the existing ATM/debit card design. Participating financial institutions will issue their customers a SafeDebit CD-ROM "card" in the shape of an ATM/debit card, as well as a personal identification number. When making an Internet purchase, SafeDebit cardholders will select the SafeDebit symbol as the payment option, insert the SafeDebit card into the CD-ROM drive on their PC and enter an e-PIN for authorization. As with ATM/debit cards, the SafeDebit transaction will be routed through the designated online EFT network. SafeDebit is designed to reduce fraud and enhance consumer trust when making purchases online, the company says. The SafeDebit service being offered is in addition to other secure, real-time Internet purchasing initiatives, including digital signatures, currently under pilot through STAR.

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