Chinese banks to issue 100,000 digital certificates

Corporate banking and stock trading customers targeted in e-commerce initiative.

The China Financial Certification Authority (CFCA), a joint venture of 13 leading commercial banks under the direct leadership of the People's Bank of China, has announced it will use internet security solutions from Entrust to enable safe and secure online transactions for more than 100,000 corporate banking customers and Chinese stock traders.

The CFCA plans to issue more than 100,000 digital certificates or IDs over the next six months to corporate banking customers and Chinese stock traders who perform online transactions valued at over $1 billion.

The certification authority is the largest secure e-commerce infrastructure effort ever undertaken in China, and is expected to accelerate the adoption of e-commerce in the country.

The CFCA, which provides security services for China's entire financial sector, such as national and regional banks, stock brokerages, enterprises and e-commerce sites, is quickly becoming the key security driver for China's e-commerce infrastructure. In a pilot program through its 13 member banks, it has issuedáabout 15,000 digital certificates to help secure those financial institutions' online banking services.

The CFCA project - which includes Entrust internet security solutions running on Sun Microsystems platforms - will enable the Chinese banking system to implement secure e-commerce activities, such as online banking, business-to-business transactions, electronic bill payment and online brokerage services

"In terms of internet financial services potential, China holds significant untapped potential," says Edward Kountz, senior analyst, Mobile Financial Strategies, TowerGroup. "As Chinese internet and mobile internet penetration continues to rise, leading domestic and global financial institutions will continue to look for ways to reach new and existing customers via self-directed electronic access. The introduction of security tools that can support this adoption is a critical step in this process."