Getting secure about e-shopping

Monday, 13 May 2002, 12:28 PM EST

A "new initiative" has been unveiled that will make online payments "secure" and give a welcome "boost" to e-commerce.

Sound familiar?

Well, for anyone who has tracked the rise of the Internet as a channel for commercial activity, the same plot has been trotted out with depressing frequency over the past few years.

Last month, it was the turn of two French banks, Societe Generale SA and Caisse d'Epargne, to deliver the familiar script. The banks have teamed up with France Telecom SA to market the new service, e-Carte Bleue, as part of a wider European drive by Visa International to bring some cohesion to a fragmented - some would say chaotic - online payments market.

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