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Identrus To Offer B-To-B Transaction Service

Identrus to offer online payment solution for banks to offer their B-to-B customers.
Bank-owned authentication company Identrus LLC is testing an online payment solution for banks to offer their business-to-business customers. Project Eleanor is going into production this month at eight beta test banks and will launch at about a dozen altogether by early 2002, says Kristin Kupres, chief operating officer at Identrus.

The system lets trading partners exchange detailed payment information. After the two parties agree on what parts of the shipment are being paid for, the system sends a payment authorization to the buyer's bank. Not surprisingly, it also includes authentication services from Identrus that confirm the buyer's identity and ability to pay.

Less than 2% of online B-to-B transactions are paperless today because existing solutions just can't handle the complications of business procurement, says Wells Fargo senior VP Jane Hennessy, an Identrus Board member who's also the manager of Wells' international group, which will beta test the system. 'The Identrus system solves a number of issues in B2B purchasing, including global interoperability, dispute resolution,and authentication, Hennessy adds. "EDI may have gotten a bad rap, and isn't as difficult to implement as many people think," she says. "But Eleanor is still easier to understand and implement, and offers many benefits in one package."

Users will need browser plug-ins to access the system, and smart cards and readers to identify their internal personnel and each employee's credit limit. Pricing isn't yet set, but will be determined by the individual banks as they deploy the system.

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